Individual Action

What Can YOU do about it?

Addressing the issue of limited access to clean and reliable electricity throughout the world, will require many changes on a large scale. These changes are necessary as the problem of low accessibility is relatively systemic, especially when considering the populations with lower access are often people of color or marginalized groups. However, changes on an individual level can be helpful to solving the issue. Below are several individual actions that are recommended for solving the issue of energy access. While the effects of these actions may be small, if enough people engage and assist, great change can be made.

  1. Get out the word!

Many people within the United States, or other developed countries are used to the interconnectedness of electricity and the easy accessibility to energy sources. Therefore, it is especially important to let people know that globally energy access is still an issue. By bringing about awareness there will be a greater amount of support for policies that address the issues as well as innovations that can be created and supported. Here are some resources to share with friends and family about energy access:

Why is energy so important for development?

What are the health effects of this issue?

What are some proposed solutions?

2. Invest in innovative energy solutions

If you are looking to invest in stocks or in growing businesses, consider investing in new technology that aims to address energy inaccessibility. By doing so, you are financially supporting a cause you believe should be solved while also stimulating the innovative and sustainable energy economy. Here are some companies that you should consider supporting:

  • Rainenergy –  A ninth grade student, Reyhan Jamalova, from Azerbaijan, recently created a technology solution to creating energy in lower income nations. Through the Climate Launchpad program, Jamalova was able to construct a device that uses rain to generate electricity. While this creation was ultimately created to improve energy access in her home country, rainy nations such as India, Malaysia and the Philippines have looked to invest. The greatest attribute of the machine is that it possesses a battery that would allow even when rain is not falling.
  • The Clean Cooking Alliance is a network of global partners working to create a thriving global market for cleaner, more modern household cooking solutions.” Recently the Alliance hosted an investment forum that helped to connect investors with new clean stove technologies.

3. Choose to consume renewable energy

While there is great need to increase energy access globally, there should also be a focus on improving the sustainability of these energy. As a person with the ability to choose their source of energy, it is important to choose renewable energy sources. This will help in two-fold. First the environment is saved from the hurtful emissions and destroyed ecosystems that occur as a result of traditional fossil fuels. Second, the demand for renewable energy will increase which will eventually lower the cost of renewable energy. This decreased price will further increase the demand for the product and eventually will replace traditional sources of energy, perhaps even replacing grid systems in countries that are working on improved energy access.

4. Use less energy

Simply being aware of your own need for energy can give you a better sense of why improved access is so vital, and why increased renewable energy sources are needed. Here is a calculator to use to determine how much energy is used for specific utilities and technologies. Taking consideration of the amount for energy used is a good starting point for conserving your own energy use. From there you can look to improve your use by: carpooling, unplugging items you are not currently using, buying items that are made with energy consumption in mind, reusing items, buying veggies and less meat- the list goes on and on.

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