Eco-Friendly Electric Generators in Developing Countries: Empowering Communities and Sparking Progress


Countless people in developing countries live without electricity – and, therefore, without the many basic, modern conveniences it supplies. Current estimates suggest that well over a billion people, or 15% of the global population, fall into this category. For these people, and for the hundreds of millions more whose access to power is unreliable, the right kind of change means a pathway to a whole new way of life and the many opportunities frustrated by a lack of sustainable power.

The Energy Gap in Developing Countries

Developing countries face the critical problem of having populations, most of which are poor, that are found to not have regular and reliable access to electricity (a sort of an “electricity deficit”). Such “energy poverty” holds back everything, from poor student performance because they don’t have textbooks illuminated at night to low opportunities for economic growth since businesses cannot function with energy. And the World Bank notes that only in the past two decades, in the period from 1990 to 2010, has the proportion of the electricity-deprived population fallen by half—from 40 percent to 20 percent.

Eco-Friendly Electric Generators: A Beacon of Hope

Renewably powered, eco-friendly electric generators offer a green solution to the problem of the energy gap. Indeed, in many parts of the world, they are the only solution. Once you get far enough into the country, you’re too remote to be on an effective electrical grid. The sheer power of the sun, wind, and water, bridged to human structures through electric generators, offers a beautifully simple way to resolve an extraordinarily complex crisis.

Real-World Impact: Case Studies

  1. In rural India, villages far away from the national grid are now using solar-powered systems to provide electricity. The World Resources Institute estimates that access to electricity in India has increased from 45 percent in 2000 to 80 percent in 2016, largely because of the expansion of these rural solar projects. Yet despite the dramatic progress, about one-third of the world’s poor—that’s some 240 million people—still live in rural India.
  2. The high-wind areas are using wind turbines to provide a reliable source of electricity for both the local community and nearby businesses. Yet, today, where you see one or two turbines, you’re likely to see a whole bunch of them (those are called “wind farms”) because of their cost-effectiveness in the long run. With the push to construct more and more of these projects in order to meet local electricity needs or as the way to combat climate change, the problem right now is, of course, that the wind farms don’t have any really cool names to go with them. That’s what this contest is all about—naming the energy wind farms in Africa as well as in other parts of the developing world.

Advantages of Environmental Electric Generators in the Third World

Better Health and Education: When people have access to electric power, they have better health facilities and superior educational opportunities. The Consolidated Contractors Company newsletter issue 3/4 reports that “ELECTRIFICATION HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH OVERALL BETTER HEALTHCARE, as well as better preserved and effective healthcare facilities.” And it continues, “Medical professionals now have LIGHTING FOR SURGICAL AND OBSTETRIC OPERATIONS, as well as healthcare services in rural areas. This means more working hours and more efficient operations.”

Challenges and Solutions

Eco-friendly electric generators have a lot of potential. But for them to live up to it, they have to overcome certain problems. These are three of the biggest ones: the Cost, which stops a lot of poor communities from investing in such systems because the initial outlay can be so high; the long-term maintenance problem, which if solved could keep the generators working for years with little additional investment; and finally, the issue of expanding the reach of the systems to many more communities.


Eco-friendly electric generators, which serve in the developing world as both engines of power and engines of change, could create the largest and longest-lasting societal benefits by reducing the deadly emissions from other kinds of power generation and by exploiting the great opportunity for financial savings that arise from renewable energy. “We must be respectful and smart in our lives and use our resources wisely.”

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