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Renewable Energy in the Developing World

Renewable Energy in the Developing World

In some villages, fewer than 2% of the community have access to electricity. This means when the sun goes down, all productivity -work, studying, recreation- stops! It’s difficult for those of us with unlimited supply to electricity to imagine, however, lack of electricity posses a significant challenge not only to everyday life, but also to development in these communities.

Eco friendly and affordable solutions are out there, they just need to be developed and harnessed! Countries such as Ghana, that have access to plentiful sunlight year round can benefit from renewable forms of energy such as solar energy. In the Renewable Energy in the Developing World Workshop, you will be introduced to renewable energy and learn how it can be used to alleviate the energy crisis in places such as rural Ghana.

This program is a lecture series and hands-on workshop focusing on how energy works, the current issues with energy (e.g. shortage, pollution, inaccessibility) and how alternative sources of energy can be used to alleviate some of these problems, especially in rural communities. Students will attend lectures and engage in discussions with leaders, youth and the general community, work on small scale renewable energy projects, such as building solar cookers, and visit sites of interest in Ghana where alternative energy sources are being implemented. The primary objective of the program is to expose students to the basic issues and encourage them to think about the role they can play in effectively tapping into alternative energy sources in their communities and around the world. “

Types of Renewable Energy and Examples of Use

  • photovoltaic “solar” energy – energy harnessed from the sun can be used to power solar powered cookers, lighting systems, water purification systems
  • biomass/bioenergy – energy derived from stored chemical energy from sources such as wood, wood waste, manure, sugarcane can be used to fuel machines, form briquettes for cooking
  • wind energy – energy harnessed from the wind can pump irrigation systems used in farming, power machines to process food such as ground corn

Renewable energy can be used to power hospitals homes, machines, phones and anything else that traditional forms of energy are used to power.

Benefits of Renewable Energy vs Traditional Energy Sources

  • reduce harmful smoke emissions from burning kerosene, coal and wood which can have harmful health effects
  • save trees
  • reduce time and energy otherwise dedicated to fetching wood, candles, kerosene
  • increase work hours for those whose work is otherwise restricted to work in daytime only
  • provide cost effective and sometimes free source of energy to the poor who may not be able to access electricity
  • provide energy for people in rural areas who are not on the electricity grid


Age Requirements: 18 and above
Arrival and Departure: Kotoka International Airport, Accra
Room and Board: Guesthouses and hotels throughout Ghana
Language Requirements: Must speak fluent English
Group Size: 14-16 participants
Dates/Duration: 4 weeks




Participants stay in guesthouses, hostels and hotels throughout Ghana. Most accommodations are equipped with air conditioning. In country transportation and most meals are included.


View wildlife from the top of a 130-foot-high suspension bridge at Kakum National Park
Visit the fascinating floating village on water at the Nzulezo stilt village
Bring a solar cooker to life
Learn from local energy experts
Catch a live Ghanaian drumming performance at the national theatre
Work on a solar powered water filtration system


Pre-departure guidance
Airport pick up
In-country orientation
Housing and most meals
In-country ground transportation for program activities
Sightseeing and tours
Travel insurance
Workshop material
Course material

 The fee does not include international airfare, visa, vaccinations, meals outside planned program activities, phone or personal expenses.Contact us for a detailed itinerary, fees and start dates.