7. 2 Policies and Scenarios for Renewables, Societal and Global Challenges
Energy Access, Engaged Consumer, Consumer Awareness, Education, Collaboration
Summary / Abstract:
Worldwide, three-quarter of a billion people live without electricity. Besides, hundreds of million use a solar lantern a few hours a day. Solar photovoltaic powered mini-grids are increasingly extending improved energy access to deprived regions. However, poor load-factor and expensive storage adversely impact reach and growth. Moreover, these mini-grids commonly do not support intermittent large loads to avoid drooping resource utilization. Though electric cooking is very efficient and non- polluting, feeble mini-grids struggle to power these. Comparable supply constraints affect water treatment infrastructure that can potentially save millions from contaminant and pathogen impacted water. In cold climates, space heating remains essential but may not be supported by the electric supply system. Washing machines are efficient in terms of water usage but need appropriate supply to operate. Consumers can collaborate to avoid some of these challenges but education and awareness of the prevailing situation and the potential can help in solar PV proliferation. Though solar PV is still perceived by many communities as suitable for tiny loads only, education, awareness and suitable ecosystem can change that. Increasingly, solar PV can integrate well into the supply infrastructure and eventually become the backbone of distributed 100% renewable sourced communities across nations and geographies.