According to World Bank Indicators, approximately 13% of all people on Earth have no access to electricity. This reality requires changes to the current systems and patterns of urban planning, the assignation of public money, and the global economic model.
Living without electricity leads to daily hardships in routine tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping, and working. Achieving these tasks requires a daily investment in money, effort, and time.
Traditional, harmful, and outdated energy sources like burning wood for cooking, candles and kerosene lamps for lighting, and walking miles to even charge phones or buy perishable items are some of the daily and expensive hassles for communities living off the grid.
The absence of electricity puts people at an enormous disadvantage as they lack the necessary and minimum tools to develop any life plan or project. No electricity makes it impossible to plug and power devices for school and learning, like a lamp, a tablet, a radio, a screen, etc. It makes it impossible to use specialized and powerful tools for working, making all processes slower, harder, and tremendously inefficient.
As a result, people in those communities are condemned to poverty with little to no chances for career development or moving up the economic ladder (social mobility). Add the lack of budget and high costs of building infrastructure in poor and underdeveloped regions, and an intergenerational vicious circle of poverty and stagnation will be the reality for many in those communities.
This situation represents a difficult obstacle to overcome. The free market economic model assumes that free competition guarantees a basic and homogeneous distribution of resources and profits. However, the competition is far from being fair. Imagine a 100-meter race, where some competitors start at 0 meters while others get going at 60 meters.
To correct this structural failure, some economists and philosophers have proposed a model called; Justice as Fairness (John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical," 1985), which abandons the idea of justice as the identical distribution of resources and replaces it with a set of universal conditions to start competing. A concept that encourages the fulfillment of primary goods including electricity, food, health, and education.
The previous does not mean a paternalistic position to “take care” of the less favored but rather establish the minimum bases of access to opportunities and guarantee a better distribution of wealth. This boils down to one simple fact that one cannot control the place, the time, and the circumstances in which they are born. Therefore, creating a valid opportunity to succeed despite these circumstances, should be set.
To make this possible, direct investment in infrastructure and sustainable development projects financed by more economically developed countries, should be made feasible.
At fosera, we share this vision of supporting underdeveloped communities through our Solar Home Solutions directed towards providing clean, sustainable, and affordable sources of electrification. We pride ourselves in manufacturing top-quality solar home systems that become an integral part of our end customers’ lives and enable them to unravel new growth opportunities. We also actively seek and participate in projects through diverse NGOs, decentralized institutions, and international cooperation organizations such as; GIZ, AECID, and the United Nations.
We strongly believe that access to energy is a human right for individuals worldwide - No one should be left behind!
Written by: Roberto Vivero Miranda