Off-grid rural communities struggle with the decision between solar and diesel generators. These communities often decide on the diesel generators for lower first costs. Short term, a diesel generator is cheaper. Over time there are many reasons not to pick diesel generators over solar.
SOLS Energy staff installing batteries in rural Malaysia
1. Pollution sucks
Solar panels absorb sunlight and give a regular supply of clean energy; diesel generators use gas. This gas is burned, and this produces a lot of nasty chemicals which are going to harm us. A lot of Malaysian communities struggle with the effects of pollution, which diesel generators only make worse.
2. Diesel generators are noisy
Solar panels are silent. Diesel generators, make liquid explode. This is loud. The noise harms wildlife and scares them off. Then the hunting parties have to travel further into the bush in search of meat. Nobody wants to work harder for dinner.
Solar is the cheapest and most reliable way to go
3. Maintenance is easy on a solar panel
The panel may last for up to thirty years without issues, although batteries can cause problems if they’re used wrong. Diesel generators are difficult to keep running. These machines tend to rust or burn out, and if nobody in the village can fix it, then there will need to be someone called in.
4. Solar panels are reliable
Solar panels are well known for their reliability. So long as there is sun and a battery, there is power. Diesel is not so simple. Gas has to be transported into the area, which makes users more reliant on deliveries. Deliveries aren’t always reliable however. Especially during monsoon season. The sun shines regularly however, as even on rainy days there are breaks in the cloud.
SOLS Energy staff installing solar panels in rural Malaysia
5. Solar panels are cheaper
Solar panels cost a lot to install. Then they pay for themselves. As the price of gas rises, the cost of solar panels is falling. Once the first few panels are installed, adding more costs less. This means that if a community decides to install more panels, those panels will be cheaper and easier to install.
Whichever way you look at it, solar is the way to go
In case your community could use some solar, feel free to contact us and we can help power you up. SOLS Energy even includes a free quotation, valued at RM499, in case you’re wondering how much solar power could save you.