With 1.6 billion people—a quarter of humanity—living without electricity, it is clear that something must be done to bring power and hope to areas of the developing world. Solar Hope, a nonprofit organization founded by Slobodan Petrovic of the Oregon Institute of Technology, is addressing that very issue of energy access by delivering solar power to areas of Africa.
Since its establishment in 2010, Solar Hope’s driving force has been to deliver the gift of light to areas of the world that are most in need.
“Electricity provides opportunities to save lives,” says Petrovic.
The organization relies solely on student volunteers and donations to implement life-saving projects. By installing alternative energy solutions, Solar Hope is able to power schools and hospitals, as well as provide a safe way for those living in these areas to receive electricity.
Electricity in Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the population depends on wood, charcoal, and animal dung for its energy needs. Solar Hope’s implementation of electrochemical energy technologies can eliminate the danger of these types of energies, all while providing more efficient lighting to classrooms and giving hospitals enough power to adequately refrigerate vaccines.
“We’re delivering modern technology to improve the lives of citizens,” says Petrovic.
Solar Hope also aims to help produce clean drinking water and improved communication to the outside world though the use of alternative energy solutions.
The Electrochemical Answer
“This brings some awareness of electrochemistry to the world,” says Bill Eggers, a member of the Board of Directors of Solar Hope and President of Bio-Logic USA. “We’re taking this science and applying it to real problems in the real world.”
Since its establishment, Solar Hope has worked with teams of students to install over 70 solar electrical systems and impacted an estimated 30,000 people. All of this thanks to the generosity of students from Oregon Institute of Technology’s Renewable Energy Engineering program and donations.
“With a $4,000 donation, we were able to power six clinics with solar energy,” said Eggers.
Through the continued generosity of donors and sponsors, Solar Hope aims to continue providing life-saving power to the people of the world.