In India and other nations, hundreds of millions of people lack access to electricity. By 2035, global demand for electricity is expected to rise by one third. As the developing world electrifies it is a great opportunity to rethink a more sustainable solution. (Photo: Martin Wright.)
It is very possible that the next step of basic needs for power can be done more sustainably. Nations like India can help find better ways to produce power that lessen our load on fossil fuels. The article linked above suggests that, as with telephones—many Indians jumped straight to mobile without ever having a landline—people around the world may see distributed solar leapfrog the centralized grid.
As development consultant Gaurav Gupta observes, the things people in some parts of the world want—wireless devices, for example—are what other people desperately need. While some go off the grid with a solar camping stove and USB charger for fun, others live off the grid all the time, because there is no reliable grid for them to plug into.
The coming decade can see more sustainable solutions to how we coexist in our environment and lessen our impact on it. It could be that nations like India and China lead the way on solar as the ultimate source of sustainable energy.