What is the Solar Villages Initiative Act?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Solar Villages Initiative Act or H.R. 570 outlines the ways in which sustainable solar energy can be achieved within rural village populations around the globe, initially by using lanterns. The bill gives the authority to fund renewable energy projects to the president in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development and other members of the executive branch.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY-15) sponsored the bill supporting sustainable solar energy opportunities in villages, allowing for the use of technologies that require electricity. A lot of modern equipment that can assist the rural population requires power. Additionally, under this legislation, solar powered lanterns would be made available. A renewable way to light a village is important if there is no access to electricity.

Under this same legislation, the empowerment of female-owned businesses in developing countries would be prioritized. This bill outlines the funds available to the president, with $5 million in 2018 increasing to $15 million by 2023.

Within this bill, the availability of credit and other services to microfinance and microenterprise clients in developing countries would increase. Training in solar technology would also be provided along with technical assistance, which is a crucial component in assuring energy is collected effectively and consistently.

The global rural population is expected to reach its peak around 2020. Projections show the numbers declining into 2050 by 0.3 billion people because of urbanization. Most of the countries that have a majority rural population are located in Africa and Asia.

Under the Solar Villages Initiative Act, villages would get access to solar lanterns and lamps as well as other forms of solar energy. While Africa and Asia are urbanizing swiftly, there are still many populations that are heavily rural. A sustainable source of electricity and lights is prioritized within the Solar Villages Initiative Act. Solar energy businesses would get credit to supply the demand of the rural population.

Nick Katsos

Photo: Flickr

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Nick Katsos

Nick writes for The Borgen Project from Tucson, AZ. His academic interests include Psychology and he spent his early days in Greece.

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