There is a great opportunity for solar entrepreneurs in Africa and India. Solar energy can be the oil industry in the developing world. This developing world will never have a western world type electrical-grid.
But they have a need for electricity for business, development, health, and education. Without electricity, the developing countries like Congo will remain in poverty forever.
Having seen well-intentioned but unsuccessful attempts to bring alternative energy to the developing world, several NGO founders suggest a more collaborative approach.
Solar power has taken root — not in the U.S. where it supplies but 1 percent of the power generated only from renewable sources — but in energy-deprived villages of the developing world.
Because costs for electricity in the U.S. are already low, unlike in rural India and Africa, the incentive to turn over to solar is lower for American households. But in poor areas around the world, some communities have skipped an entire generation of coal-powered electricity.
Despite the attractiveness of solar cells and solar concentrators lighting up and heating poor villages, solar brings its own problems. If not implemented right, a technology touted as clean and green can become an unnecessary burden for technologically unsophisticated communities. But the size of the need, and of the market, has led some groups — having learned from earlier initiatives — to push on in bringing solar to undeveloped areas.