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Solar power in disaster relief

An increasingly vital tool in today’s disaster zones, solar PV can bring safe, clean, 
portable power to those in greatest need. We take a look at the technology’s 
applications in this critical arena.

Very few modern day phenomena have 
the ability to bring a nation to a standstill in the way that a natural disaster can. A high magnitude earthquake, for example, can cause levels of destruction that one nation simply cannot repair on its own, and it does not matter if it happens to an advanced nation such as Japan, or a lesser developed country like Nepal or Haiti.

The last ten years have brought some of the most devastating natural disasters in living memory, leaving many without access to adequate services, water, communications and power.

To a nation, the impact of losing a national grid is immense, so it is vital that emergency relief agencies can bring a source of safe, efficient and clean power with them…and solar solutions steadily becoming the preferred option, as the reliance on non-renewable sources within emergency situations is fraught with many problems.

Firstly, there is the issue of sustainability. 
In a natural disaster situation, in the past, people have reverted to gasoline or diesel powered generators. Not only are these generators hugely inefficient and unsustainable, but they are also incredibly dangerous in the hands of untrained users.

There is also the risk of potential social instability that comes about through having a limited non-renewable fuel supply. This occurred across various southern states during the hurricane Katrina crisis. Prices can easily become out of control because the demand is immense, which then leads to a vicious circle of even higher inflation and demand, with a diminishing level 
of supply.


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