Since 1961 when President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order, thousands of volunteers have traveled to developing countries to implement programs that range from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation. Now they’ll be adding another task to their list: the implementation of renewable energy. The US government just awarded the Peace Corps with $1 million to start a program that will bring clean green energy to developing communities in Central and South America.
Volunteers involved in these renewable energy programs will be promoting education on global warming issues and environmental preservation and teaching local communities how to build and use green energy technology. They’ll help build and install biodigesters, solar water heaters, photovoltaic devices, solar and fuel-efficient stoves, and wind or mini hydroelectric power generators. They’ll also help people in communities to utilize biofuels in their vehicles.
As the UN reported developing nations are just that — developing — and as they grow, countries with greater resources have the task of helping them use renewable energy to do so. Dirty fuel alternatives such as coal are rampant in the developing world because of their low cost. Programs like this latest one from the Peace Corps will hopefully help move that energy trend toward a cleaner path by bringing the tech to communities who need it and teaching them how to build and repair the technology on their own.