Five Renewable Sources of Energy for Farmers in Developing Countries
18 April 2012
WorldWatch Institute - 17 April 2012
According to the United Nations, access to reliable and sufficient sources of energy will be critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and hunger by 2015. Many of the world’s poorest people are rural farmers with no connections to power grids or large-scale energy sources. Most of their day-to-day energy currently comes from the burning of wood and charcoal, practices that contribute to air pollution, deforestation, and the loss of precious time and energy collecting firewood.
Today, Nourishing the Planet introduces five sources of renewable energy that are meeting the demands of poor farmers and allowing them to improve their harvests and their lives.
1. Solar Energy: Solar energy is widely harvested in two basic ways. The first is the use of solar panels, which use photovoltaic cells to convert solar radiation directly into electrical current. Such installations are efficient and versatile but have high start-up costs. The second is solar heating, which harnesses the heat of direct sunlight to boil water and cook food, activities which often constitute more than 25 percent of a household’s energy use.