October 22, 2019 / Energy Poverty / Source: Kevin Sasson
At SonLight Power, our mission is to make a lasting, multi-generational impact for the most vulnerable children, families and communities living in energy poverty worldwide.
To combat energy poverty, it’s important to know energy poverty’s full range of effects – from a wider, global perspective to the micro, community level. When we understand the problem, we’re better prepared to solve it.
At its 2019 meeting to discuss Sustainability Goals, the United Nations identified a key objective to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Why is this topic so important at a global level? Here are a few data points for context:
- About 840 million people worldwide are living without access to electricity
- 39% of the world’s population are living without access to clean cooking fuels, meaning almost 3 billion people rely on inefficient and polluting cooking systems
- As of 2016, only 18% of the world’s energy consumption came from renewable sources – well short of the pace needed to meet climate goals
At the family and community level, energy poverty affects all aspects of daily life. Electricity powers refrigeration that preserves our food, medicines and vaccines. Electricity is needed to pump potable water from deep wells in areas where clean water is scarce. Electricity powers lights in dark places and charges our devices, which connect us to the latest information. Schools, community centers and hospitals require electricity to effectively meet community needs with critical services. Basic electricity is required for communities to keep their members healthy, educated and advancing.
SonLight Power knows first-hand the trials and tribulations faced by vulnerable communities living without electricity. We design and build solar energy solutions for community venues – schools, medical clinics, orphanages, community centers, churches, water-pumping stations – in remote locations around the world, bringing clean, reliable electricity for the first time to thousands who do not have it.
Here are some numbers that show how far we’ve come in 20 years:
- 70+ mission partnerships across 19 countries
- 350+ volunteers
- 200+ solar power projects worldwide, providing over 300kW of renewable energy
- 300,000+ lives impacted
We’re striving to extend access to sustainable electricity to the remaining 840 million people in need. While this number may seem overwhelming, progress is being made: “The global electrification rate rose from 83 per cent in 2010 to 87 per cent in 2015, with the increase accelerating to reach 89 per cent in 2017,” according to the UN.
SonLight Power will continue to lead the change, transforming lives of those in need with love and solar power. Thanks to our partners – churches, businesses, mission organizations, foundations, families – who have come alongside to make a collaborative impact.
We invite you to plug-in to the SonLight Power mission. Your participation accelerates the pace we can improve the quality of life for the nearly 1 billion people still living without basic electricity. Click here to see how you can get involved in ways that are meaningful and engaging for you.