Thailand: A Solar-Powered Path to Development

Collection with 9 media items created by Ana Salvá

09 Dec 2014 23:00

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Access to electricity is a key element in development. However, in Thailand there is an important gap in access to energy between rich and poor that has persisted over the years, especially in rural areas. The situation is critical in some marginal areas, such as the Thai-Burma border.

The lack of electricity makes these communities more vulnerable. In these areas, some villagers depend on candles or kerosene lamps that are very expensive and have a negative impact on their health. They also pose serious risks to their livelihoods since their homes are usually constructed with bamboo and dried leaves that can easily catch fire. On the other hand, these communities must gather wood in order to satisfy their most basic needs, tasks that are normally carried out by women, cutting into the time and energy they could devote to other economic activities. Moreover, some schools and hospitals do not have access to power for needs as basic as keeping vaccines refrigerated.

The Thai government implemented solar energy systems in more than 200.000 households in 2004. However, most of the systems died because of the lack of maintenance. In this context, a Thai woman founded an organization to refurbish the old equipment and to train local people on how to maintain it. Her project aims to be self-sustainable. If successful, it could bring some much needed relief to families who currently struggle to meet their energy needs.

Solar Energy Burma Thailand Millenium De... Solar Energy Workers Labor Women Society Development Power Southeast Asia

Thumb sm
Solar energy (1 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

A mother and child walk in their village, Tot Day Pla, located in Tak province near the border of Thailand and Burma.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (2 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

Heh Htoo is a technician working for SunSawang, a Thai solar film. He checks the control boxes of solar panels in the village of Pla Tot Day.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (3 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

Heh Htoo examines one of the solar panels installed in the village.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (4 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

Two of the company's technicians are directed to perform a routine check of solar panels installed in homes.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (5 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

Luoel Maung, a missionary living in Pla Tot Day village, illuminates his face with a flashlight. He generally uses this light to walk around the village at night, as there is no street lighting.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (6 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
10 Dec 2014

A woman works in the fields near Pla Tot Day.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (7 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
11 Dec 2014

Two young Thai girls eat at home during the daylight hours in Pla Tot Day village.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (8 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
11 Dec 2014

A large solar panel is installed by the NGO Border Green Energy Team.

Thumb sm
Solar energy (9 of 9)
Mae Sot, Thailand
By Ana Salvá
11 Dec 2014

Salinee Tavaranan is the Thai engineer who is bringing power to many households living in darkness.