Global environmental challenges
Solar heads to developing world
They believe solar power systems that convert sunlight into electricity can help power developing areas without going the route of dirty coal-fired power plants.
Suntech is teaming up with Pakistan’s alternative energy development board, which the company’s chairman and chief executive Zhengrong Shi called “a clear example of the promise of solar energy.”
Solar thermal company eSolar said last week that it is expanding in Africa and earlier this year it partnered with an Indian company to build solar power plants in India over the next 10 years.
And a $400 billion euro plan is gaining steam to power Europe with Sahara sunlight, despite critics.
Today’s top solar market — and lots of profits — are found in Germany while the United States and China are fast-growing alternative energy sectors. Will countries like South Africa join their ranks one day? How will countries and governments make good on the promise of solar energy for the developing world?
Photo: Workers build a thermo-solar power plant in Beni Mathar August 20, 2009. Photo credit:REUTERS/Rafael Marchante