Solar Energy, a Clean, Accessible, and Inexhaustible Energy for Sustainable Development
The Sun is the center of our lives and the main source of energy. In the history of humanity, the sun has been a fundamental element in cultures and religions. We currently use the sun’s energy to produce electricity, to heat water and cook, to process and dehydrate food, and to dry our clothes, among other things.
The amount of solar energy that reaches the surface of the earth is so enormous—around double what we could get from all the non-renewable resources of the planet combined, including coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium in a year. And yet, the solar energy used represents only 1% of the world’s energy production.
In the Northern Gulf of California region, the insolation clearness index (amount of solar radiation received per m2 throughout the year) is very high. In addition, the low rainfall and the mostly clear skies almost all year round provide an excellent setting for the capture and use of energy from the sun. For example, Mexicali has a maximum of 7.3 kWh / m2-day and Hermosillo 8.6 kWh / m2-day. *
CEDO promotes the use of solar energy in the coastal communities of the Northern Gulf of California. Through our Community Wellbeing Program, we seek to integrate new and efficient ways of using solar energy and contribute to improving the quality of life of the region’s residents, making a difference in their health, mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity, an providing an option to add value to fishery and agricultural products.
In support of coastal fishing and populations, we seek to implement the solar kits and community solar stoves. Our solar kit can be used in emergencies and during boarding and disembarking, among other things. A kit consists of a small 12-volt panel, a rechargeable battery to use as energy storage and LED bulbs. It also includes a radio, phone charger, and electrical current transformer for use with low voltage devices.
With community solar stoves we seek to establish areas within communities to streamline the processes of fishery products that require cooking prior to marketing (such as snail). The use of these stoves in communities will not only decrease greenhouse gas emissions by reducing fossil fuel, wood, and garbage burning but, more importantly, they can help improve the health, especially of women and children, as they don’t have to breath the gases produced by the burning of these materials. The use of solar stoves also reduces deforestation and the use of Mesquite (Prosopis spp.) charcoal.
This is how CEDO contributes to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 7 “Affordable and clean energy”.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy:
Between 2000 and 2016, the number of people with access to electricity increased from 78 to 87 percent, and the number of people without power fell to just under 1 billion. However, as the world’s population grows, so will the demand for affordable energy, and a global economy dependent on fossil fuels is generating drastic changes in our climate.
To achieve SDG7 by 2030, it is necessary to invest in clean energy sources, such as solar, wind and thermal, and improve energy productivity.
Expanding infrastructure and improving technology for clean energy in all developing countries is a crucial goal that can stimulate growth while helping the environment.
SDG 7 by the Numbers:
- 1 in 7 people still do not have access to electricity; most of them live in rural areas of the developing world.
- Energy is one of the major contributors to climate change, accounting for around 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- More efficient energy standards could reduce the electricity consumption of buildings and industry by 14%.
- More than 40% of the world’s population, 3 billion people, depend on polluting and unhealthy fuels for cooking.
- As of 2015, more than 20% of energy was generated through renewable sources.
- The renewable energy sector employed a record 10.3 million people in 2017.