Rural students are surfing the internet– thanks to solar power.
Here’s how it works: Shipping containers are retrofitted to accommodate students and educators, and solar energy powers two dozen computers. Long-lasting, folding, rubber solar panels power each classroom for 9 hours, and they can even provide 36-hours of electricity when the sun isn’t shining.
The project, Solar-Powered Internet Schools Initiative, focuses on rural areas in Africa. This is especially significant because, despite Power Africa’s progress, rural communities not connected to the utility grid are at risk of being left behind.
The initiative will start in Ghana this summer, with the goal of reaching millions of students within one year. The governments of South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria are also working to establish the program in their rural villages.
Solar power also extends the length of the school day and allows students to do homework in the evening.
And this is far from the only instance of how solar power is helping students. A sampling of how solar power technology is revolutionizing the educational experience for millions of children across the globe:
- The nonprofit Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha organization works on an innovative concept: solar-powered floating schools that will ensure an uninterrupted school year even in flood-prone Bangladesh.
- Rural Indian students are also benefiting from an influx of off-grid solar power.
- California hopes to save $1.5 billion by installing PV at schools.
- Even areas not known for sunny climes are on board. The United Kingdom, for instance, is pursuing solar installations to save money and enhance science and technology cirrcula.
Community Renewable Energy believes in the power of green technology to improve lives. We also strongly support rural electrification efforts, such as micro-grids, so that no one is left behind as the world embraces the many benefits of solar power.
Below, a rural resident of India explains how access to reliable electricity transforms lives.