Access to affordable and reliable energy is a vital element for sustainable development. In the off-grid and rural areas of developing countries, energy solutions have received an increasing amount of attention due to their contributions to reducing poverty. However, most of the rural population in many developing countries still has little or no access to modern energy technologies (Guta et.al, 2017). Instilling renewable energy and water treatment projects in developing countries is a more complex issue than simply bringing money into communities to solve problems. Consistent collaboration is needed to place projects into communities for them to be long lasting and sustainable. Other factors, such as the need for skilled personnel for operation and maintenance, service networks, availability of spare parts, socio-economic integration and adaptive capacity of communities to transfer and develop technology appropriate to local needs and circumstances play a large role (Schäfer et. al, 2014).
The adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embodies this ability to create change in humanity and our environment through collaboration, engagement, and proactive action. Consisting of a list of ambitious goals and targets, the SDGs address the key changes required in the global financial and economic system to bring about fundamental sustainability transformations. Countries, individuals, and organizations, such as Green Empowerment, who then implement the objectives and ambitions of the SDGs are working to solve problems through interdisciplinary and effective approaches.
So why does Green Empowerment focuses on this issue and how do they choose whom to work with?
Eleven percent of the world’s population lacks access to electricity and most of these people are living in rural, and remote locations. In order to reduce poverty and pollution and increase health, Green Empowerment partners with locals to provide renewable electricity and other clean energy. Providing access to electricity to these remote areas helps boost the local economies by promoting the creation of local industry and agriculture. By providing clean energy, specifically, Green Empowerment is helping reduce pollution related illnesses.
The clean energy that Green Empowerment installs could look like one of many things, depending on the location and needs of the community. Renewable energy source that Green Empowerment implements include:
- Solar Power
- Wind Power
The type of project depends on the resources available in the different communities, as well as their electric needs.
Green Empowerment has partner organizations in all of the countries they work with to help oversee their projects. Every project starts off as a formal request from a community member to one of the partners. This means that the needs of the communities are being identified by locals themselves and not by people working for Green Empowerment. Green Empowerment focuses on providing skills and training to create longevity within the projects long after Green Empowerment leaves the area. The local communities are involved with the renewable energy and clean water projects every step of the way.
Guta, D.D., Jara, J., Adhikari, N.P., Chen, Q., Gaur, V., Mirzabaev, A. Assessment of the Successes and Failures of Decentralized Energy Solutions and Implications for the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus: Case Studies from Developing Countries. 01 June 2017, Vol.6
Schäfer A.I., Li S., Voigt A., Richards B.S. Renewable energy powered membrane technology: Energy buffering control system for improved resilience to periodic fluctuations of solar irradiance. Renewable Energy, Volume 149, 2020