There are many building blocks necessary for a modern society to survive and thrive. These include access to clean air, clean water, nutritious food, quality education and modern technology. In order to have many of these things, another key necessity must be present. This missing piece of the puzzle is electricity. Impoverished areas worldwide cannot provide electricity to citizens, partly because they cannot acquire the materials necessary to produce electricity. Traditionally, fossil fuels are harnessed using equipment to obtain them, then converted using generators, and other materials, such as batteries, are used to store the electricity prior to its use. Given the high costs of the many resources necessary to do this, countries cannot provide the electricity, and therefore local people suffer in many ways. There is, however, solutions to providing electricity in a cost and resource efficient manner. Places in southeastern Kenya are turning to one potential solution to this money and resource issue, which is solar power.
Kitonyoni, Kenya is turning to solar power because it will be a reliable resource that can be used for years to come to provide electricity to its people. Rather than constantly pouring money into obtaining coal and converting to electricity, the solar energy plant can be established, and maintained for a reasonable cost while causing a significantly smaller negative impact on the environment than previous electricity methods would. The environment would also benefit from the solar plant because the canopy would also act as a rain collector that the local population could use throughout the year. Not only would the solar plant provide environmental benefits, it would also provide benefits to the economy and job market. The solar plant is maintained by the local cooperative, which provides jobs to local citizens. Health centers could provide around the clock care to patients, and be able to communicate with other centers more easily. Students in schools would have access to light and resources throughout the entire day without having to use gas lamps or strain their eyes from dim lighting. Over 50 businesses would also have access to the electricity from the solar plant, therefore allowing them to provide service for longer hours.
Ultimately, Kitonyoni’s move to establish a solar energy plant is a step in the right direction. The environmental benefits from using this form of energy are plentiful, and the benefits to the people are even more tremendous. Up to 3000 local citizens would benefit from the electricity provided, and would benefit from the improved health care, education, and economy the solar plant would provide. Given the tremendous benefits for Kitonyoni that solar energy can provide, it is clear to see that solar energy can be the key to improved life and success in many other areas throughout the world.