Solar Energy in Rural Africa (extra credit)

I found an interesting article from CNN on a new plan for solar energy in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the article, 68% of the population do not have access to electricity. The new plan includes a solar panel installed on the roof and a lithium ion battery. This provides electricity 24/7 and the article made very good points of how having light at night kids will be able to study, and phones will work all day for business men and women, and farmers will be able to better protect their animals.

The costs range from $300-$400, but customers can pay the first 10% upfront and then make payments of $7 a month. After three years, they own it and no longer have to pay. Some of their packages also include a tv and a radio. I find this interesting because I don’t think it is necessary to supply the tv or radio when trying to save electricity and be resourceful. But I also think that it is very exciting for them to have access to tv and power since they are not used to as we are in the United States. It really is a privilege to live in America.

Solar energy is a great alternative to kerosene burning which impacts their health and pollutes the air. The company has a goal of providing clean energy to two million people by the year 2020. They are backed by one of the largest solar energy providers in the United States, SolarCity, as well as Africa’s largest private firm, Helios. I believe this will help them in being able to be more successful and allow both countries to work together. They currently supply power to 125,000 households and most sales are made door to door.

I thought this was interesting since we have learned in class about the different types of clean, renewable energy. Seeing that things are being done around the world even for less developed countries is very hopeful in helping the world as a whole and the planet we share life on. For more information visit the link below.




Last Wednesday, Coca-Cola showcased their new PlantBottle. This new PlantBottle is still made from plastic, however instead of the plastic being derived from petroleum it’s derived strictly from sugar cane. This new bottle have reduced the Coca-Cola companies’ carbon emission by an estimated 319,000 metric ton. By 2020, Coca-Cola plans on exclusively making all their bottles by using this green packaging method. Coca-Cola hopes to motivate other consumer packaged goods industry to shy away from non-renewable fossil fuels and used more renewable plant-based alternatives.
In my opinion, applauded what Coca-Cola is doing to help improve the environment. With Coca-Cola being such a big name brand, I hope they are successful and getting more name brand organization to follow suit. Some companies such as, Ford, Heinz, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld have already started using PlantBottle for some of their products. Ford Motor Company started using PlantBottle packaging in the fabric interior of its Fusion Energi hybrid sedan. Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are using the PlantBottle packaging for their recyclable plastic cups. Heinz, on the other hand have been using PlantBottle technology for their ketchup bottles since 2011. The PlantBottle Packaging Innovation Platform hopes that by getting different companies to use their technology they can demonstrate that their technology can be used across different companies’ spectrums; such as cars, carpet, and clothing. By getting different companies to use this technology they hope to help lighten the footprint on the planet. PlantBottle is taking the first step to improve the environment on an industry base level.

This technology is overall amazing. I hope that other name brand companies continue to follow suit. If more organization continue to support renewable technologies, I believe we can improve the environment while also lowering our carbon footprint. I think this would be a great technology for universities, schools, and hotels to adopt in their classrooms/ hotel rooms as well.