Greenpeace Volunteers in South Africa

Greenpeace volunteers Mohau, 18, and Allen, 16, give each other a high five for collecting 54 signature for a petition about the use of solar energy. The Jericho project, a solar powered public viewing area for the World Cup, was initiated by Greenpeace Africa, marrying entertainment with education and proving how solar power has to be the solution for South Africa's energy crisis. © Benedicte Kurzen / Greenpeace

If you thought power cuts from our inadequate centralized energy supply were annoying, imagine if the power were always cut - no light at night, no hot water for dishes or clothes, and no easy heat in winter.

Such is the reality for 2.5 million homes in South Africa.

But with a worldwide upswing in renewable energy installations, there's a light at the end of this tunnel for some, and it's solar-powered.

One step at a time, renewable energy is starting to make a difference in the lives of South Africans. Earlier this year, Project 90x2030 ran a rural solar initiative in Kwazulu Natal, where they installed solar lighting kits in 50 households.

For many of the recipients, this was the first light they had ever owned.

Watch the touching reactions of people receiving electricity for the first time in this First Light mini-documentary and see how solar power can change lives. (Read more on solar power below the video.):

First Light from ECOBUZZ on Vimeo.

This is a kernel of hope in our ever-present fight against energy poverty. And since more solar energy projects are being planned worldwide than any other power source, we're starting to move in the direction the planet deserves.

Solar energy has recently proved cheaper to install and to maintain than conventional forms of dirty energy. Because of this, it is also starting to find its way into local business models as entrepreneurs begin to see a strong future in green living.

The hope is that these businesses will bring clean energy options within the grasp of every homeowner. Div de Villiers, who runs an outlet of GWStore says "My family is already using the sun for 100% of our [suburban] energy needs" Their geysers, lights, appliances and multimedia devices are all run completely off the sun. "The sun is the future source of electricity for us all!"

All these factors are pointing us on the right course, now it's just a matter of convincing our government of the potential of renewable energy!

Get involved

Stop government overlooking our invaluable renewable energy resources by signing the petition at and let's live in a clean energy country.