Solar Energy: Africa's Second Liberation. (Feature)
Osei, Kwabena, New African
After the "first liberation" of political independence, the "second liberation" of Africa will come through the use of solar energy to power our homes and industries. Imagine a USA or Europe without electricity. But that is what Africa currently is -- 85% of Africans still live in rural areas and most of them have no electricity And yet, Africa gets 365 days of splendid sunshine a year. From this month, New African is starting a major series on solar energy to bring awareness to Africa's neglected power. The series is written by the solar expert and engineer, Kwabena Osel (photo left).
For very obvious reasons, the powers that be who control the conventional generation of electricity have stymied the promotion of solar energy because its widespread use is deemed as bad news for the fossil fuel industry. But Africa can no longer play "their" game if we are to pull ourselves out of poverty. We have to start now by utilising the vast amount of solar energy that hits the continent's surface each year.
The Sun should be the future energy powerhouse if the continent is to attain a better and meaningful development that will benefit the people as well as the environment. The beauty of it all could be the electrification of our towns and villages with energy from the Sun.
The average solar power received on the Earth's surface is 1.2x1017 W. This means that the energy supply from the Sun hitting the Earth in an hour can meet the total energy consumption on Earth for a whole year. No wonder, the Sun has been worshipped as a life-giver to our planet since ancient times.
Most of the energy we use today originates from the Sun. This energy has been absorbed by biological organisms over millions of years.
In fact, the energy from the Sun is …
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Publication information: Article title: Solar Energy: Africa's Second Liberation. (Feature). Contributors: Osei, Kwabena - Author. Magazine title: New African. Publication date: July 2003. Page number: 40+. © 2005 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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