Electricity is a form of energy made to power devices and tools that we use every day. However, many people around the globe do not have access to this essential power source. What is the root of this problem? For poorer countries it is hugely the inadequacy of infrastructures, lack of funding, and, in some instances, authorities are simply ignoring poor city and rural areas that are lacking this basic need. Many people do not have electrical grids in their city, and many do not live in cities. Hence, they either have no power lines access or, for various reasons, services are intentionally turned off by government or providers. Whatever the reasons, this is a major problem, and I have an idea that may lead to a solution.
The first thing needed is a reliable energy source. Something that is not expensive. The sun could be good however, if you run out of energy at night, you have to wait till daytime to recharge, so perhaps not the sun. Another contender could be wind, but on hot summer days it might not work or not give much energy. The sun and the wind are in fact sources that are being used now, they are low-cost, but neither one allows the users to be self-sufficient. My recommendation is heat energy from our body. Something you always have. Something portable. It might not be enough to light a city, but if each person uses it, they will not need a city to provide them with a source. We could all use tiles that pick up our body heat and uses it to power basic devices. Overall, it would be the most reliable energy source.
But why do some parts of the world have electricity while other areas do not? It is because a variety of reasons. First, we have a limited number of resources on Earth, we need to make sure that we are making good use of what we have in creating alternative electricity. Second, many companies deliver electricity at a hefty cost. This means those countries which have a higher poverty rates do not have easy access while countries who can afford the price, have plenty and fast electricity. The fact of poor neighborhoods not having electricity is not isolated to only the poorest countries. In fact, while many developing countries do not have access to electricity, some richer countries like Italy, France, Germany, and even the USA have residents who do not have access to electricity even if the country itself would be able to pay for it. But the question remains, why would not the countries give fast electricity to these residents if they can? An argument could be that while these countries are rich, on a more regional level they lack the resources to give all citizens electricity. Another argument could be that the government thinks of these people as unimportant and would much rather use their wealth for other things; their needs in that regard are not a priority. These inexpensive tiles will be mostly for Third World countries, but major powers could also benefit from them.
The facts and urgency of this problem are grim. Over 900 million people in the world do not have access to electricity. That is about 13% of the world population. The EU climate and energy framework is working toward everyone in the world having electricity by 2030, still, that is 10 years of no access. While all over the world, people do not have access to the electricity that they need, the problem is prevalent in Africa and South Asia, including Sudan, where only 4.5% of the population have access to reliable electricity. The 13% of the world that does not have access to electricity is lacking a basic need. I think that making devices that would get energy from body heat would be the most effective and useful, largely increasing the world population that gets electricity before 2030. While this is an abstract solution, in the coming years, through additional research and collaborations, I hope that I may be able to develop the idea of harnessing human energy to create heat tiles to make a concrete contribution to this problem. It is a world problem that we can resolve thoughtfully as a group and on an individual scale.