In many cases they pay significantly less. In Africa, for example, solar power is being viewed as a cheap, cost-effective way to make a huge improvement in the quality of life for rural villages, not merely through solar technology such as solar panels, but also passive solar energy such as home construction with solariums and energy-efficient windows that can retain heat in winter and dissipate it in summer. Why is it cheaper there? For one simple reason: they don’t have much of an energy grid in Africa. Here in America we get most of our power from utility companies, who own the transmission lines through which the electricity flows from a power plant to our homes or businesses. In order to install solar power on a large scale here in the US we either need to construct solar facilities and link them into the grid so that power generated by them can flow into the system and hence back to our lightswitches and television sets, or we have to find a way to disconnect our houses from the grid and rely directly on source-generated power, which is expensive. In Africa there is no grid in most places. Once you build a solar system you’re ready to go. Consequently, solar power has a unique potential for the developing world in a way that ironically we can’t enjoy as easily here in the United States.
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