Access to electricity is often limited and prohibitively expensive in rural areas across the world. Solar power, in this context, has the potential to provide a cheaper and cleaner source of energy in these areas.
One major advantage of solar power in rural areas is its increased availability since these regions lack access to electricity due to underdeveloped infrastructure. In rural India, for instance, nearly 300 million people don’t have access to grid-connected power, forcing them to use outdated energy sources like kerosene, diesel, or even wood-fired stoves.
These sources not only require large government subsidies but also pose significant health and environmental risks. By offering a means to bridge this infrastructure gap, solar power presents an opportunity to improve the social, economic, environmental, and health indicators of 30% percent of India’s population.
Now, let’s list some of the benefits of opting for solar energy:
1. Solar Power Offers a Clean Energy Source in Rural Areas
Renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, is considered clean as it does not generate harmful pollutants. Although wind and solar power farms may require more land compared to fossil fuel power plants, the environmental benefits of clean energy offset this drawback. Add to this the likely availability of large swathes of land in rural areas, and you have a perfect energy solution at hand in solar energy.
Unlike fossil fuel power plants, solar energy does not harm local ecologies or cause health problems for nearby residents. This makes it especially beneficial for rural areas where solar panels and energy systems can be installed.
2. Boosts Farming Technology in Rural Areas
Solar-powered agricultural pumps have emerged as a crucial application of solar energy that has the potential to greatly enhance the productivity of farmers. Despite the higher upfront cost of solar technology, investments in it come with lucrative government schemes, including subsidies for the upfront costs.
3. Makes Solar Power Cheaper in Rural Areas
Lower power prices are one of the greatest advantages of solar energy systems in rural areas. When the power supply available in an area is boosted with solar power, it reduces scarcity and ultimately results in cheaper energy prices.
The reduction in power prices due to solar not only benefits consumers but also contributes to local economic development.
4. Brings the Access to Technology in Rural Areas
Solar energy in rural areas has many other crucial uses, such as providing access to the internet and television, which can contribute to rural development in a wide range of ways. Solar energy can also be instrumental in boosting access to healthcare by powering basic healthcare centres.
5. Creates Jobs in Rural Areas
Governments that promote renewable energy are contributing to job creation for their citizens, providing an alternative to seeking employment abroad. By creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for rural youth, solar energy can offer employment to a large number of semi-skilled labourers in installing and providing after-sales services for solar energy systems.
6. Improves Quality of Life
In improving and providing access to electricity, which solar systems offer in rural areas, solar power has the potential to boost access to a wide range of activities, from education and agriculture to industrialisation, employment, and entertainment. Solar energy can achieve all this in more feasible ways thanks to its long-term cost-effectiveness compared to the expenses of transporting electricity from large-scale power plants.
Solar energy has the potential to revolutionise the ways in which rural communities gain access to reliable energy supplies in our time. When effectively set up with a trusted energy partner like Luminous, solar energy can serve as a catalyst in improving nearly all aspects of life in rural areas.