Gallery: Madagascar’s Rural Clinics Powered by Solar Panels


Solar panels are unique among sources of clean and renewable energy for their ability to generate electricity practically anywhere in the world. Recently Madagascar joined with the Development Intervention Fund to begin retrofitting a number of rural clinics with photovoltaic cells. For those in energy-deprived communities who are in need of medical care, having access to solar energy can literally mark the difference between life and death.

One of the most overlooked characteristics of solar panels is their ability to produce energy pretty much everywhere on the planet. For areas with poor energy infrastructure, such as rural Madagascar, solar panels can provide an essential renewable resource where before there was none.

The newly installed solar arrays allow clinics to function at night, safely providing services which previously had to be conducted via candlelight. It also means that noisy, expensive and highly polluting generators can be reserved for emergency purposes only. So far 27 centers have received solar panels, with a total cost of around $700,000 dollars. If you ask us, it’s a small price to pay for a life-saving development.

+ Development Intervention Fund

Via Physorg


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  1. Jac October 8, 2008 at 6:13 am

    well said Steve :)

  2. makewealthhistory October 7, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I used to live in Madagascar, so it\’s always great to see a good news story from there. Thanks a lot!

  3. Steve N. Lee October 7, 2008 at 2:30 am

    A very small price to pay, yes.

    Projects like this should be rolled out across Africa, China, India… the entire Third World and ares of rural poverty which have sufficient sunlight hours per year to make it a viable power source. And it shouldn’t just be for clinics, but for schools for heating/lighting and to power computers, and for communities to have communication systems so they aren’t cut off from the world.

    Education will drag the poor out of poverty and the dissemination of knowledge by radio, etc, will not only aid that, but help communities practically – for example, warning of extreme weather patterns, an iminent earthquake, an election, how to obtain aid.

    We take flicking a lightswitch so for granted and yet billions of people across the globe simply don’t have that luxury – this is an ideal way to address that problem.

    The expense? Yes, it would be massive today but then we wouldn’t have to pay tomorrow if we rid the world of poverty – give a man a fish/teach a man to fish. After all, we find money when we want it – who knew there was $700 billion hiding under Bush’s mattress!?

    Steve N. Lee
    author of eco-blog
    and suspense thriller ‘What if…?’

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