The thrilling potential for off-grid solar energy | Amar Inamdar

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There’s an energy revolution happening in villages and towns across Africa — off-grid solar energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional electricity …



21 thoughts on “The thrilling potential for off-grid solar energy | Amar Inamdar

  1. Sue Schmidt

    We live in Colorado. Installed 24 panels on our barn roof. Leased them so our cost was $8,000. These panels produced all the energy needed for our home. In the daytime, we generated more electricity than needed which was fed to the grid. At night, when the sun went down, we drew from the grid. Used a solar panel rake when it snowed to keep the panels clear which worked perfectly. Solar is not just for Africa. We had all the appliances, a hot tub, etc. Right now the US offers a 30% tax breaks and solar companies offer payment plans that allow the consumer to pay a monthly payment similar to what it costs for their electricity. Combining solar with energy efficiency, e.g. insulation, LED lights, turning off things like computers when not in use, etc., we can all enjoy low cost, renewable options that will enhance our lives rather than continuing down the road of assuming that non-renewable energy is the way to go. According to an IEA report, "China alone is responsible for over 40% of global renewable capacity growth, which is largely driven by concerns about air pollution and capacity targets that were outlined in the country’s 13th five-year plan to 2020." It's about time we become as progressive as other countries!

  2. Alexander Paddington

    … and what's the collection plan for these (very complex and expensive to recycle) lithium-ion batteries in 8 years time when they no longer harvest energy and are spread across these rural areas, numbering in the thousands?

  3. FDK

    This is old news, this has been going on for years already. TED is crap nowadays, most presentations are just some schmuck wanting to sell something. It used to be enlightening.

  4. mad pharmy

    solar panels getting better, if only everything didnt run on AC it might be usefull to someone off the grid. just something to play with for rich people. connecting random power sources to the grid sounds like a nightmare for the people maintaining it. good luck keeping a ad hoc grid running. some day we will have to find a way to integrate such impractical power sources in a non industrial AFFORDABLE manner. paying specialized electricians to fix you overpriced sensitive electronic equipment, to charge your high maintanence expensive batteries, just to put something usable back on the grid is not practical economically or technically yet nobody is talking about this. if all you had was a solar panel, about all you could do with it without equipment is electrolysis. trying to sell solar energy to consumers is selling a hype dream.

  5. Michael Daly Artist

    Excellent – but dah!! Painful to watch this guy in more ways than one.
    Off-the-grid renewable energy is nothing new – it was envisaged and modeled by caring environmentalists, economists and scientists in the 70s.
    Earth Day is coming up for its half century anniversary!
    The questions are: where have you been? What has been holding you back? Have you been holding the pioneers back yourself? If you’re going to acknowledge the source of the sun, why not acknowledge the source of the renewable van guard and share the credits?

  6. D W Bain

    The part that interests me is the fact that Susan and her kids are no longer breathing the fumes of the kerosene lamps. This has to give better long term lung benefits.

  7. Nikki Martinez

    Thomas Edison was a psychopath…. he invented the electric chair… he did not invent the light bulb…. let’s as a society stop spreading lies as truth and dumbing down our children…. let’s tell the true history’s so we can move forward in an intelligent way with our morality in tack … no more glorifying insanity as something to aspire too…

  8. Roy Vij

    How about a modular system that can be put together piece by piece? Snapped together as they can afford it. This industry needs better scalability standards.

  9. Nicholas Napier

    you know these electric companies that we have here in the United States are very greedy right here usa. where I live in Florida power companies are very greedy they don't want us to have solar power and they don't want us to disconnect Off the Grid so they create laws so you can't do that so local municipalities constrict change laws in the counties that we live in. they want to put meters on people's private Wells on water right here in Florida in the United States so before anybody thinks that someone is going to get something free you better ask their local government first cuz they're going to want something from it and if they already have a system in place they're not going to let go of the money they're getting

  10. Nicholas Napier

    what are you think off grid is is Revolution is been happening all through the United States already it's already hitting Canada for it even hit here problem is it just doesn't reach for an undeveloped countries as easily cuz their governments want something from it they want the grease their palms money that's the problem nothing for free if they can't have something out of it you see what you're doing is beautiful helping people develop their lives free electricity is all around us been that way for thousands of years you can do it many ways but sound wind Sun and water the one thing that people are so afraid to use is hydrogen not liquid hydrogen the stuff you hear about the so explosive it's only made explosive unless you intentionally make it that way it can be controlled easily by a common man very easily they won't let that happen here in the United States they won't let us have cars that run on hydrogen we wouldn't even need fossil-fuel anymore because it's something that recycles through the environment as well as being easily made by the Common Man yes I do believe that you can have this done

  11. Nicholas Napier

    when World governments won't let you do that any of that stuff you're talking about having free electricity or any other thing else for that matter just ask Nikola Tesla where he's at just think about it GP Morgan told him his people won't have nothing free referring to us at the time before we were even born this is what he told Nikola Tesla

  12. LiftedSlayer

    Industry-funded disinformation. This guy works for the petroleum/mining industry. These shills don’t speak about truly clean and renewable solutions like geothermal, wave/tidal etc because the fascist/capitalist corporate ownership class wants a resource intensive “solution” like solar so that they can monetise and control it. We need on-grid energy solutions otherwise we will need billions of (non-renewable) batteries and resource-and-labour intensive solar panels

  13. Buck Fisher

    Solar panels don't seem to have been very successful in North America. They have poor efficiency, the sun goes down, it gets cloudy, it can be very cloudy for very long time periods, etc..

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