I am changing my Action goal to #7 since it seems to fit the purpose of this project more. Action #7 entails ensured access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. At first, the way I would have liked to contribute to this action was by creating kits for the usage of solar panels in a household that doesn’t have access to power from the national grid. I still would like to do this, but this week I kind of dove into providing access of sustainable light sources, as solar-powered lanterns. My teacher actually gave me this idea which sparked all of my research for this post 🙂
So, I looked into Kenya and found that in 2017, 63.81% of the population didn’t have access to energy. Over the years, this number luckily has steadily increased since in 2010 it was less than 20%. In comparison, 100% of Canada’s population has had access to electricity since 1990. Some other statistics I got on Kenya’s population is that only 13.42% have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, and 17.83% use the internet. Again, Canada is at 100%. (1,2) But as for now, I will focus on the energy part.
Kenya has mass amounts of renewable energy resources (like wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro, and biomass), and is using them to power 70% of the nation’s installed electricity capacity. This is extremely impressive as it is three times the global average. The president is saying that they should be powered by 100% renewable energy by this year, which could boost the number of people having access to the national grid. Luckily, around 9 million Kenyans have access to off-grid renewable energy. “According to International Energy Agency (IEA) data, the two clean energy sources with the biggest global growth are solar power – which is expanding faster than all other renewables combined – and wind power.” (3) Which is a very good reason to look into solar-powered lanterns.
In 2014, people who work on the project “Solar Energy for rural Kenya” made a video that explained how they can replace the use of kerosene lamps with solar-powered lanterns. These lamps caused negative health effects, risked fire, polluted the lakes the fisherman would use them at and were extremely expensive. The solar-powered lanterns got rid of all these issues and could be recharged at stations for a very small amount of money. And if people in rural areas didn’t have access to these stations, there were delivery services made so they could have a source of safe lighting at night. A woman expressed how this helped her keep her store open 2 hours after sunset, which generated extra income to her family, helping them live an overall more financially stable life. (4) If through butterfly we could provide a couple of families with sustainable light sources, I believe we could make a huge difference. So for the beginning what we could do is provide them with some lamps by having fundraisers and sending it to families in need. These could be some of the types of lanterns to buy:
For my next post, I might look into providing energy for kitchen use, but if you have any other ideas please leave a comment! Thank you so much for reading!
(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oj_zGJeOx0 (video),