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Clifton 1 Natalie Clifton Instructor: Malcolm Campbell English 1103 October 28, 2013 Bringing Africa Tanzania Light

Think about how often we use electricity. Turning on a light, listening to the radio, and even opening the refrigerator door to keep our food from going bad. We do not realize how electricity is a big part of our lives. Now imagine if someone lost all access to electricity. Now that there were no lights they had to stop everything once the sun went down. If Americans did not have some kind of energy source around them twenty-four hours a day, they would probably get irritable. There are people across Africa without access to electricity and it is impacting them in multiple ways from education to health. There must be steps that need to be taken in order for communities in Africa to acquire cost effective and energy efficient renewable energy. Scott Baldauf, writer at The Christian Science Monitor, found that less than 25% of Africans even have access to electricity (Baldauf). According to World Bank.org, in Tanzania alone, only 14% of the population has access to electricity and it is not even clean energy (Gaddis, Morisset, and Wane). On the international scale, the lack of efficient energy sources became so critical that the United Nations declared 2012 the year of sustainable energy for all (Biello). Robert Orr, U.N. assistant secretary general was quoted, There are 1.3 billion people who dont have access to [modern] energy. If you hook them up to the most polluting, damaging forms of energy you are doing significant damage to the planet (Orr qtd. in Biello). The actions of the United Nations has elevated the insufficient energy distribution systems to an international crisis. This proves that countries must work together to develop energy delivery systems to meet

Clifton 2 the global needs of all humanity while also protecting the environment. Brad Plumer, writer at The Washington Post, wrote that in Africa indoor air pollution from wood stoves now kills 3.5 million people per year, more than AIDS and Malaria combined. (Plumer). For this reason it is important to not only provide African countries, specifically Tanzania, with access to not only energy but clean energy. Clean energy will help bring electricity to the communities without the harmful effects of pollution or a major effect on the environment. What is clean energy though? The Florida Renewable Energy Association defines clean energy as any energy source that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs . This means less pollution is produced and energy produced will still satisfy the needs of the people ("Clean Energy Defined"). The main way to produce clean energy is through the use of renewable sources which help to create renewable energy. Renewable energy, according to the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, is an energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time scale and comes from nature ("Definition of Renewable Energy"). Clean energy will help bring electricity to the communities without the harmful effects of pollution or a major effect on the environment. Other sources of clean energy couldDifferent clean energy technology could include wind power or solar energy. Before this technology can be brought into Africa, however, engineers must look into making solar panels more cost effective and energy efficient. This essay will explore what steps need to be taken in order for Tanzania to acquire cost effective and energy efficient clean energy and the effects that having electricity could make within the society. One of the first things that must be considered is the impact of bringing alternate energy sources into Tanzanian environment would have on the quality of its residents lives. First thing

Clifton 3 that must be considered is the need to bring energy into the Tanzania environment. According to The Christian Science Monitor, when the sun goes down most families do not have light and electricity so they must stop what they are doing because it becomes too dark to work anymore. Not having lights hurts the children since they must stop doing their school work which in turn effects their education. Every person has the right to an education and hethey should not have to worry about the darkness keeping himthem from finishing histheir school work. . Every person has the right to an education and they should not have to worry about the darkness keeping them from finishing their school work. Baldauf wrote about a program that allowed students in an African community to continue working on school work, after their chores were completed, with the use of gas-powered lights. It was found that more students graduated that year and went on to college. However, after the program stopped, fewerless students passed their tests and only a small few went to college (Baldauf). In order to keep children in Tanzania in school and completing their work, there must be another means of energy available to the community since the program was closed down because the gas prices became too high (Baldauf). This shows that relying on gas as an energy source is not going to help sustain these communities. One energy alternative that will be reliable is renewable energy. Instead of the communitys money going towardpaying for gas-powered energy with gas, the money should go toward technology that will be able to sustain the communities needs of energy for many years into the futureto come. One type of renewable energy that would allow for continuous energy supply solar power. Solar energy deals with converting the sun rays into electricity which is clean energy that will not harm the environment and is always availablerenewable energy. S With solar energy panels they could sit outside the house
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Clifton 4 collecting and storingconserving the energy that would be used later when night comesthat night when it becomes hard to see. Before continuing talks aboutabout talking bringing clean energy into Tanzania, we must look at which type of energy is most effective. There are the oOptions includebetween hydropower, wind power, and solar powerenergy. Plumer stated that the Tanzanian government is now looking into using offshore natural gas reserves (Plumer). This option is not productive for several reasons: because more air pollution may be affected; costs are high to harvest natural gas; there may be negative environmental effects on sea life; and the risk of the reserves drying up.will develop and the reserves will dry up in a matter of years. Renewable energy is the only way to produce energy that is both efficient and clean. Clean energy means that it does not have a big impact on the environment and the methods used to acquire the energy do not release as many emissions. Tanzania is not alone in its struggle to provide sustainable energy to remote sections of the country. Most of Sub-Sahara Africa has limited infrastructure to support renewable energy sources. For the region to be successful in carrying out the 2012 directive from the United Nations, they must rely upon cooperation of neighboring countries. This is made difficult by civil unrest and dictatorships within the Sub-Saharan region. In order to gain the technology needed, countries will need to put the welfare of the population above politics. Currently individual countries have resources invested in alternate energy sources, however, combining efforts may prove more beneficial for all involved. The three methods, wind power, hydropower, and solar power, all provide clean energy but they also have their flaws.There are many types of renewable energy technology being developed. These include wind power, hydropower, and solar power. The three methods all

Clifton 5 provide clean energy but they also have their flaws. Wind power will produce noise pollution and destroy habitats as the result of a way to building the wind farms. Hydropower is another optioninion that is currently used in other areas of Africa. This type of technology would allow engineers to build dams in the rivers so the flow of the water creates the electricity for the community. There are negative sides when it comes to hydropower. These could include aeffecting the habitats of the animals within the rivers or destroying homes in order to build the dams. Solar power seems to be the most efficient way of bringing electricity to these families in Tanzania. The solar panels would require the least space out of all three methods but still presents challenges.there are still problems with panels. Solar panels have improved over the years but there is stillalways room for improvement. Lewis Fraas and Larry Partain are the authors of the book Solar Cells and Their Applications and in itthe book they address the problems with solar energy and how the technology must cost less if people are going to accept the new source of energy. They discuss how a solution to this problem is to look into what other elements will retain the same amount of energy while keeping the cost affordablebut also allow for the product to be cheaper (Fraas and Partain 11-13). There are oOther issues with solar panels that can be worked out. For example, Living Green Magazine wrote about how solar panels used on homes hold 15-18% of the energy from the sun. and for the The solar panels themselves have a useful life oflast for 25-30 years but can produce energy for up to 40 years if well maintainedcan go for 40 years if well maintained (Green). For solar energy to be successful in these communities, the solar panels must be well maintained requiringso the citizens need to be educated on how to use the technology, maintain it, and how to maximize energy from the panelsmake get the most energy out of the panels. Long term success requires engineers to continue research on more effective, cost efficient materials while

Clifton 6 at the same time educating the people in underdeveloped countries on their part in making renewable energy successful in their communities.Engineers can continue research within renewable energy and bring solar energy and educate the people in underdeveloped countries. There are other initiatives that are taking place today. According to The Washington Post, President Obama recently went to sub-Saharan Africa and found that the communitiesy would have many power outages. According to Baldauf, after President Obamas trip he began creating the Lighting Africa initiative which is finding the best and the cheapest way to bring energy to Africa. Baldauf commented on the Lighting Initiative by saying the competition to design the best model for providing reliable, cost-effective lighting to Africans should help technology businesses serve 1.7 million potential customers. (Baldauf). However, the plan President Obama has come up with focuses on just providing the government with money to develop new ways of gaining electricity. This is not an effective way of solving the problem because there is no guarantee that the money will go toward energy. Government officials may be tempted to use the funding for personal political gain or other projects deemed higher priority. Instead if we bring the technology to each family or individual communities there that is a higher chance those most impacted will receive the education and funding required to improve the quality of life without harming of knowing that the people are getting clean energy and that money does not go toward gas or other sources of energy which are still harming the environment. Solar energy, while seems like the best long-term affordable solution, the return on the investment makes them unaffordable even in the United States. Corporations and research organizations must continue to improve technology and manufacturing techniques which will make solar panels a more appealing energy source for all consumers. Once the technology has
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Clifton 7 been accepted by the main-stream population, more international aid organizations and corporations will have more confidence in bringing solar panels to remote parts of the world like Tanzania.If businesses or organizations are willing to help, there could be a chance to research more about how to make the technology available to these areas by getting grants or fundraising. By proving to not only the people in Africa that solar power is both energy efficient and cost effective but also proving it to homeowners in the United States, then more people would spend money on solar energy then solar panels could be donated to the underdeveloped areas in Tanzania or other areas in Africa. Another major obstacle to implementing solar powered energy in Africa One problem that is to be faced is the opposing views of some with regards going into another country and trying to bringing more westernized technology into a culture with deepthat has pride in their heritage. There are some locals whothat dislike western cultures invading their community so educating the population on the benefits versus imposing western viewpoints is criticalwe must avoid pushing our way into their environment and be respectful of their culture. The culture and traditions of the society must be respected while helping them value the improved quality of life which comes with western technology. The United States government should not get involved in this matter but rather have corporations, religious and charitablebusinesses and organizations work together to help the communityies. The United States government should focus on helping solve our own countryies energy problems before fundinggiving money to another countriesy with technologies yet implemented efficiently at home. It would probably be helpful to have a non-profit or private organizations assisting with the education and distribution of energy to Tanzania rather than thesmaller group of people providing energy to Tanzania before having the huge United States government getting involved in other countries affairs. Long term success

Clifton 8 Wwhen introducing westernthe technology comes from effective education of those responsible for implementing, using, and maintaining the systems.to the communities we must be considerate and not try to force solar power on areas that do not want the technology. However, the only way through effective communication we might be able to help communities understand the technology that can be provided to them. The success of a project like this lies with the locals.A major part of this project would be the locals. They must give us the consent to provide them with the electricity but also be open to learning all the can about the technologyteach them how to take care of the solar panels. If we teach some people in the communities how to build their own renewable energy technology, they will become more self-efficient. If we are able to teach them about the technology we could collaborate and they could learn to improve their own society with their knowledge about electricity. The only way Africa will gain clean energy is through the corporation of the different parties involved, the locals, and the engineers, and funding organizations working together to reducewhich will help in various ways such as pollution, improve opportunities for education, and improve the quality of life and helping the education of the children. Bringing renewable energy, specifically solar energy, would have an impact on the communities in Tanzania and the others people, such as the engineers, whothat would work on providing the best technology to satisfy the needs of the people. With access to electricity, Tanzanian students will be able to spend more time on their school work and graduation rates will begin to improve. If the main energy source is will converted to solar power, the air quality will improve reducing the need for wood burning stoves, which impact air quality that is harmful to everyone in Tanzania.with solar panels since the wooden stoves create large amounts of air pollution that is harming parents and children in Tanzania. Through collaboration, engineers

Clifton 9 will be ng with the communities, the engineers will be given the opportunity to research new ways to build the solar panels to be both more energy efficient and cost effective. As a result, it would beis possible to provide Tanzania with the technology needed to continue work long after the sun goes down.so they can have a sustainable energy source that can allow the people to not have to worry about stopping their work just because the sun goes down. Instead solar power with help childrenthem improve their education andto grow in their education and provide a clean and safe way of getting electricity.

Clifton 10 Works Cited Baldauf, Scott. "New move to bring electricity to Africa." The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Publishing SocietyN.p.,, 15 Nov 2007. Web. 23 Oct 2013.
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Biello, David. "Can Cleaner Cooking and Solar Power Help Solve Energy Poverty in Africa?." Scientific American. Scientific American Inc., 31 Jan 2012. Web. 27 Nov 2013. "Clean Energy Defined." FREA. Florida Renewable Energy Association. Web. 27 Nov 2013. "Definition of Renewable Energy." TREIA. Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association. Web. 27 Nov 2013. Fraas, Lewis, and Larry Partain. Solar Cells and Their Applications. 2nd edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. 11-13. Print. Gaddis, Isis, Jacques Morisset, and Waly Wane. "Only 14% of Tanzanians have electricity. What can be done?." blogs.worldbank.org. The World Bank Group, 31 Oct 2012. Web. 13 Nov 2013. Green, Emily. "How Does Solar Power Save You Money?." Living Green Magazine. Living Green Media LLCN.p., 12 Mar 2013.Web. 23 Oct 2013.
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Karekezi, Stephen, and Timothy Ranja. Renewable Energy Technologies in Africa. London, UK: Zed Books Ltd, 1997. 2, 74-91. Print. Plumer, Brad. "A closer look at Obamas $7 billion plan to bring electricity to Africa." The Washington Post. The Washington Post CompanyN.p., 2 Jul 2013. Web. 23 Oct 2013.