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Solar Power and Sustainability in Developing Countries

Renewable energy is not an entirely new concept, but it continues to rapidly emerge as an alternative to fossil fuels and, hopefully, other deleterious energy sources. Products within this industry are being created on an unprecedented scale, and various systems are available for use. However, none are as applicable to the sustainability of developing countries as is solar power. Solar technologies are extremely promising with ever-increasing output efficiency and the capability to be used in a variety of locations. The intrinsic qualities of solar design afford it great utility for the following reasons: 1) most developing countries are located in a remote region with optimal access to the sun’s rays, and not much else; 2) most resources for fuel and energy that are available to developing countries can only be used by exploitation of the ecosystem, which leads to social decline; 3) rising global independence of fossil fuels quickens the need for solar technology, which will increase competition and lower prices; 4) solar systems are relatively affordable and applicable to both homes and villages, as households of industrialized nations are using solar more than ever before; 5) within solar technologies, passive solar design is absolutely the ultimate in renewable energy for buildings, and can be coupled with solar panels to achieve maximum comfort and sustainability. Many projects capitalizing on solar power have already been implemented in developing countries, and serve as encouraging results for many more to come. In this paper, the aforementioned topics will be addressed to exemplify why solar power is the best choice for sustainability and renewable energy in developing countries, and how completed projects and on-going work in remote locations may lay the foundation for standards of excellence in this field.
Saeed D. Foroudastan
Middle Tennessee State University
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United States
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