Blog4 - Rural Electrification: What it Is and Why It’s Necessary

What is Rural Electrification?

Rural electrification refers to the process of bringing electricity to rural areas that are far away from electricity infrastructure and very remote. Those of us who use electricity everyday tend to take it for granted and we don’t always realise how much we rely on it. People in rural areas don’t just need electricity for everyday uses like lights and heat, but also for farming. People who live in rural areas are generally self-sustaining meaning they all farm their own crops to eat. It is also the way to barter or trade for other things they may need. The uses depend on how evolved the community is.

Which Areas are Targeted for Rural Electrification?

The focus for rural electrification projects is generally in African countries and the outskirts of developed countries. The purpose of electrification is to make life easier for people living in rural areas and help them to be able to sustain themselves better. By having electricity, they will be more capable of keeping food for longer, they will increase productivity on farms, they may be able to do work and other activities after dark because they will now have light, etc. The benefits are plentiful.

Some companies have developed 3D printed solar cells, wind turbines, and other products that will help people in rural areas to have access to electricity. Natural sources of energy are more useful in rural and remote areas because they are far away from the electricity grids and lines. Making use of natural energy sources like the sun and the wind, will not only help the people live better, but it will make them do so in an eco-friendly way. It’s a win-win situation.

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People in rural areas may not be as reliant on electricity and gadgets and technology that go with it, but they definitely have a use for it. If farmers could have access to computers, the internet, or even just videos that can educate them, they will be able to improve their farming techniques. If they had electricity to power stoves or other heating devices, they would need less wood and possibly help reduce deforestation in certain areas.

What are the Benefits of Rural Electrification?

There are many benefits and many reasons why rural electrification is a good idea. The best part of it is that the energy options won’t add to the climate change problem, but it will help people have a better quality of life. It should be quite clear that bringing electricity to rural and remote areas will be a good thing. As companies work to create gadgets or machines that will help make this process easier, everyone will soon have the benefit of electricity and its many uses.

What Types of Power are Used for Rural Electrification?

Rural electrification is the process of taking power to remote and rural areas that are off the grid. These areas are generally not near the electricity infrastructures that run urban areas which means that the best option for electricity is renewable energy sources. Companies have been trying to get power to these areas to help them have a better quality of life and also to help them farm better.

Types of Power

The best types of power for rural areas are renewable energy sources. This is because these areas are often too far away for electricity lines and infrastructure. The homes and buildings in these areas are also not necessarily ideal for installing electricity or electrical equipment. For this reason, renewable energy sources are used to electrify these remote areas.

The most common types of renewable energy that are used are solar, wind, and hydro power. Setting up solar panels and wind turbines in large areas are very effective and can power a whole community. Farmers make use of this electricity and also receive compensation for the use of their land. Solar and wind energy is the easiest and best power options. If the area is near running water, hydro power is also an option. The water would need to run for some distance and it would need to be consistent. If it is, turbines can be installed to generate hydro power.

Maintenance

The big question is how do these people run and maintain the equipment. People and companies involved in rural electrification go to install the equipment and also train locals to operate and maintain these devices. The devices are not complicated to operate and generally don’t require too much attention once they’re operational. Obviously, the company will always be available to help when needed. By training the local farmers and other individuals to install, run, and maintain the equipment, they are also creating jobs. This is just another advantage of rural electrification.

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Environmental Impact of Rural Electrification

The great thing about rural electrification is that it hardly influences the environment. People who live in these remote areas already have a very small impact on the environment because they live off the grid and rural electrification doesn’t really change that. Because rural electrification projects generally use renewable energy sources to help the communities, they remain low-impact and do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Rural electrification is changing the lives of many people and helping them live better and healthier lives. It also has financial advantages for farmers and it helps with job creation. All and all it seems like a pretty good operation.

You can learn more about rural electrification in this article. You can also learn more about renewable energy sources and how to make your own on our USEFUL LINKS page.

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