Affordable Clean Energy for Underprivileged Communities: A Case Study

Helping underprivileged communities gauge the affordability of clean energy technology is one step in the direction of empowering them to make the investment in it. Solar, in particular, has a lot of promise in certain Global South nations that have high solar availability, with dense populations that require spatial efficiency. It is a simple, elegant, and relatively low-maintenance technology that can serve the needs of many communities and offer exceptional long-term savings via a reduced or eliminated energy bill. Coupled with government subsidies and incentives, the solar market can be an effective solution to the problem of energy poverty for many communities in Global South nations.

This article by Meghna Patnaik, who specializes in Sustainable Environmental Design and is currently a Design Engineer at SunPower, describes a feasibility study she did for the development of solar power as an affordable clean energy technology for one such community—the Purkal Youth Development Society, a nonprofit organization located in Purkal, India, which serves low-income communities from the surrounding villages.