In California, when we consider how home solar energy can make our lives better, we think mostly about lower energy bills and making an investment in clean energy. These are good things and important things.
But in other parts of the globe, the impact of solar energy is transforming many other aspects of life, including education.
It is estimated that 1 billion people around the world lack basic reading and writing skills. Changing that starts with helping children develop an interest in education, but in some parts of Africa 50% of schools have few or no books at all.
A nonprofit organization called Worldreader is hoping to change that with its Renewable Energy for Education Program. The program delivers solar energy-charged Kindles to students. As a result, in places where books are rare, children in Kenya now have access to more than 28,000 publications in the devices’ digital library.
Mission accomplished – but it was quickly discovered that solar energy provided much more than Kindle power. It also brought light to schools previously illuminated with expensive and dangerous kerosene lamps. Now students were able to study longer, and Worldreader reports that in some cases teachers had to force some of them to go home. That is rarely an issue here where we take so many luxuries for granted.
Solar energy was also used as an incentive for parents to attend teacher conferences and take more interest in their children’s education. Schools offered to charge a parent’s mobile phone at no cost in exchange for attendance.
Solar power has the potential to permanently change the culture of communities like these around the world, and inspire greater focus on education that may have a remarkably transformational impact in the decades to come.
Fortune magazine reports that solar could be the world main energy source by 2050, which is certainly good news for programs like this. If you’ve been thinking about the differences that solar panels can make in your home, Precis Solar can provide you with the information you need to get a head start on the rest of the world.