Viewpoint: Off-Grid Solar Is Vital for Driving Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery
By Radhika Thakkar
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global challenge with unprecedented impact on families, healthcare systems, and economies. It reminds us how interconnected we are and that we share the same fundamental needs. No matter where we live, each of us needs basic services, access to information and the ability to connect with our loved ones. For each of these, we need energy. It is a stark reminder that almost a billion people are facing the lockdown without it – no power to work, no power to charge a phone, none even to turn on a light.
The last compilation report in the Powering Opportunity Series highlights the wide-ranging benefits of solar home systems (SHS) and why the impact and potential of the off-grid solar sector must be protected.
The research found that, whether customers are in East Africa, West Africa or Southern Asia – almost all reported that their quality of life had improved once they had an SHS (between 94-97%) – with most seeing improvements in their health and safety. Solar home systems are powering greater use of mobile phones and are increasingly bought with radios and televisions, helping families and communities to stay connected.
Photo courtesy of Jplenio.