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Home > News > Princeton Senior Redding Explores the Brightening Future of Solar Power in the Philippines

Princeton Senior Redding Explores the Brightening Future of Solar Power in the Philippines

June 9th, 2019

Each year, the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) supports senior-thesis researchby students from departments across the University. This story is part of a series exploring the disciplinary variety of PEI-funded undergraduate research carried out by members of the Class of 2019.

As a tropical nation spread across more than 7,600 islands, the Philippines seems like the ideal location to implement localized solar power for the 16 million Filipinos lacking reliable access to electricity. But as Princeton senior Erin Redding discovered, providing lasting energy solutions requires much more than a willing populace, low-cost technology and ample sunshine.

For her senior thesis research, Redding identified the main barriers to establishing renewable solar power in the Philippines — particularly in remote rural areas — and developed recommendations for the Philippine government to help ensure that those systems are successful. With support from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Woodrow Wilson School, Redding spent three weeks in the Philippines in January interviewing 31 high-level officials in energy departments and bureaus, project managers for nonprofit solarization programs, and directors of solar social enterprises.

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