03 Aug 2015
William Allen, Communications Specialist, UNDP
Workers install solar panels on the roof of the UNDP offices in Sierra Leone.
UNDP offices are looking to the sky to power their programmes. It's interesting to see what we have already accomplished, and how much more we can do. Solar power is a champion for many of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, including targets for resilient cities, infrastructure, and sustainable energy. It is a key to our global warming crisis, especially for sun-filled regions of the world. It creates an energy-independent environment with less noise and air pollution and sustainable, outage-free workplaces for UNDP and its partners. The U.S. International Energy Agency reports that the sun could be the largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydropower, and nuclear, with localized solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generating up to 16 percent of the world's electricity and solar power plants providing an additional 11 percent. As part of the response to Ebola, UNDP installed solar systems in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2014, and at three sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At UNDP Sierra Leone, 196 panels now provide power for 200 staff in the office, which also houses the UN Joint Medical services and security services for Freetown. Carine Yengayenge, Deputy Country Director, is excited, noting