I heard an interesting article on Earth-Sky yesterday. It was talking about solar power energy being available for even poor people.
It seems that Africa is showing us the way with Shared Solar power grids.
Solar power grids, of micro size, are set up to provide power to surrounding villages. They service 20 families or fewer, with very affordable and well managed power, and the way it all works is “smart metering”.
With time-of-day pricing, which allows pay-as-you-go amounts, families with little money can pay as little as 50 cents. The special metering helps keep costs low, and it makes renewable power available to people who previously couldn’t have afforded prices for electricity from other sources.
Using Solar Power for Your Own Home
If you can’t set up your own photovoltaic system, like the types we mention in our book – the Saturn Field Guide to Photovoltaic Systems, then perhaps you can start pressing the people in power to take heed of what’s going on in Africa. If the U.S.A. can use this technology, many lower income people could benefit from solar power. With proper up-scaling, this could even work on bigger scales than small towns and villages.
Smart metering, coupled with micro solar power grids, would help ease the strain on the national power grid, provide much more affordable energy to families, and help the country get away from its growing need for fossil fuels. It would be beneficial all-around, for people of all income levels.