Electricity is one of the greatest creations of human and most essential innovation in the world. The development and generation of it drastically changed the way we live, from domestic to industrial activities.

We use electricity in almost everything that we do. At home, we depend so much on electric appliances for cooking, cleaning, and recreational activities such as watching tv or playing video games. When we step outside, we see offices, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, and factories that are working at a fast-pace and producing good results with the help of electricity.

It is clear how important electricity in our day to day lives. It does not only light our houses and allow us to conveniently cook, clean, and work efficiently but also contributes to the progression of many industries including technology. For many people, it is difficult to imagine the world without electricity so it may come as a surprise to learn that some people have no access to electricity till this day. 

An estimated 1.2 billion people are still living without electricity. This is mostly observed in underdeveloped countries such as sub-Saharan Africa countries like Burundi, Liberia, and Uganda. In which Burundi only has 9% electricity access of their total population, Liberia at only 20%, and Uganda at 22%.

The lack of electricity in these countries is an economic hindrance for them and their people as it restricts the type of business and participation in the modern global economy. Electric companies continue to make advancement to widen electricity access in these countries but it is most likely in small-scale making it hard to reach isolated villages. Historically, it takes 25 years to increase from 20% to 80% electricity access which means it is likely take 2 decades before the sub-Saharan Africa catch up with other parts of the world.

Lack of access is not the only problem when it comes to electricity. While underdeveloped countries are struggling to widen their electricity coverage, some countries have problems with overloading and misuse of electricity.

Poor power distribution and storage are two of the biggest challenges in electricity. There is roughly 60% power lost during transmitting electricity from power stations to houses or buildings. This is because some of the electrical lines that are used to transmit energy are a century old. However, governments refuse to change or repair them as it would take an enormous amount of money.

Another problem is the storage of excess or unused electricity. Sometimes there is low demand for electricity just like when businesses were closed due to community quarantine during the first stage of COVID-19 pandemic. The power plants continue to generate electricity even with no adequate requirement which results an excess of power supply.

There are several technologies being used to store electricity such as pumped hydropower, compressed air technology, and lithium batteries. However, they all have disadvantages. Pumped hydropower and compress air technology both require huge space which can ruin the environment and increase global warming. On the other hand, lithium batteries are not cost effective, have short life span, and have low capacity which is not even enough to supply a small community.

Resolving electricity problems is challenging and would take a lot of studies but it has to be done one way or another as we are bound to face shortage of electricity supply sooner or later.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is an aspiring researcher and a writer about health, environment, households, and appliances. You can find some of her work at https://electrickettlesplus.com, an appliance website that offers energy saver electric kettles.