By Marco Rivera Specialist in power electronics for renewable energy applications.
Light is a form of energy that allows objects to be visible. The greatest source of natural light is the sun, but there are also artificial forms, such as candlelight, lamps, electric light, among others. Since 2017 and every May 16, thanks to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the “International Day of Light” is celebrated, in order to foster cooperative relationships between leaders. of the technological and scientific sector of light, thus allowing to contribute to improving the quality of life of people.
From the point of view of electrical energy, light plays a fundamental role and even more so in these times of pandemic, being essential for the operation of hospitals, sales centers for basic necessities, the media, the industrial development, and mainly, for the development of the activities that today are carried out at home, such as watching television, cooking, working and / or studying. And although, for some, the availability of light for all this seems basic and natural, today there are still almost one billion people in the world without access to electricity.
The 2030 agenda of the United Nations (UN) highlights as one of its objectives “to guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Despite technological advances and the high penetration that renewable energies have had today worldwide, there is still a high dependence on fossil fuels and pollutants, and it is expected that more than 600 million people in the world will continue without access to electricity by 2030, that is, more than the current population in South America.
Our country has great potential and availability of renewable natural resources for power generation. In fact, according to the Chilean Association of Renewable Energies and Storage (ACERA), as of April 2021, 9,123 MW (megawatts) of installed capacity of non-conventional renewable energies have been reported NCRE, corresponding to 32% of the national capacity. But despite this, in Chile there are still about thirty thousand families without permanent access to electricity.
Faced with this scenario, it is essential to continue promoting and investing resources in technological development, promoting the penetration of clean energy into the electricity grid, in addition to the development of initiatives that promote the implementation of electrical microgrids in places with no or limited access to electricity. And along with this, the training of technicians and professionals who are capable of bringing technological advances to the communities, as well as the creation of awareness for the care of available resources. These measures form a fundamental axis to thus achieve a country that guarantees access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy.