Solar energy went global in 1958 when solar cells were used as a back-up source of power for an international satellite.
But 50 years later, even with increased concerns about global warming, solar energy was found to have supplied less than 0.02 per cent of the world's total energy supply. †
Ashmeed Anthony Ali hopes to help change this.
Ali is the managing director of Solar World Technology, a company which specialises in the manufacture and sale of solar powered products.
Ali's vision is that Trinidadians and Tobagonians will embrace the concept of solar power as an alternative source of energy.
Ali tells the Business Express: "I see it as a God-given idea. If we were to go alternative, that would provide savings to our economy because then we have more oil and gas for export. For environmental purposes Ė so much attention is toward climate change and global warming, we should go green. With the world moving in that direction, we in Trinidad and Tobago and probably the Caribbean ought to catch up."
He said the installation of the solar-based systems could provide a considerable reduction of utility expenditure to consumers.
"Additionally we create the opportunity for all to be involved in the use of clean renewable alternative energy that would positively affect your environment."
The company was formed in 1991 and Ali offers products which can be used in the home, ranging from small items such as cellphone and laptop chargers and reading lamps to larger items like roof top systems to power appliances in the house.
While Ali has not landed any major contracts to supply his products, he has taken the initiative to present his products at schools because "our country needs a lot of education regarding alternative energy sources".
Last week, Ali's products were on display at an exhibition at the San Fernando Hill.
The idea of going green in the home are catching on and he has had orders for solar powered cellular chargers, reading lamps and flashlights.
A commercial bank is doing a special project for underprivileged children and it has asked Ali to supply and install water heaters at the facility.
He is hoping to propose the concept of a "Disaster Preparedness Solar Kit" to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM).
Ali said the kit will consist of items which will be useful in times of a natural disaster when the supply of electricity might be limited or cut.
Among the items in the kit: A solar cellular charger which can also charge laptops and MP3 players, a flashlight and a lantern.
He is also thinking of going further and supplying built-in solar panels that can power a small refrigerator or small stove.
He is hoping to keep the cost of the kit to between $1,000 to $1,500.
His company also covers the after sale service of his products.
He has partnered with companies in China and America to manufacture the solar products.
The smaller items (chargers and lamps) and water heaters are made in China, and the home systems are made in the United States.
For more information contact Ashmeed Ali at Solar World Technology at 652-7105 or 681-2413.