With the holiday season in full gear, you might be thinking about ways to give back this year. Whether you're donating to a local cause or volunteering with a well-known organization, you'll truly make a difference to people in need. Within the green energy industry, solar companies and clean energy organizations are also finding opportunities to help people in need! Many of them make efforts year-round to introduce solar solutions to areas without electricity.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), almost 2 billion people – mostly in the developing world – don’t have access to electricity in their 11community. The lack of an advanced energy method contributes to a lower quality of health, sanitation, education and more. The UNDP explains that hazardous cooking and heating fumes from wood, kerosene and animal waste solely cause more than 4 million premature deaths every year. Therefore, clean and accessible energy is essential for improving the developing world's future.

Check out the following solar industry organizations. You can learn about how they're bringing innovative and sustainable energy methods to the developing world!

Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

Founded in 1990, SELF brings solar technology to more than 20 countries in the developing world. According to its site, the organization has been working on different solar projects over 20 years. Recent solar installments have been completed in locations such as Colombia, Haiti and Benin.

The SELF site highlights the nonprofit's Whole Village Development Model, which benefits community health, education, enterprise and agriculture. The model's solar panels are installed to offer access to clean water, power homes and educational tools, store vaccines at proper temperatures and much more. Also, SELF allows its website visitors to submit a project proposal request individually or on behalf of an organization.

We Care Solar

We Care Solar is a nonprofit that's improving the quality of clinics and health care in developing areas. The organization's co-founders designed a portable solar suitcase, providing medical workers with supplies such as solar panels, headlamps and chargers. This gives health clinics and hospitals the opportunity to safely and efficiently tend to patients.

We Care Solar is particularly passionate about promoting safe childbirth and decreasing maternal mortality. To prevent childbirth complications, solar suitcases include a fetal monitor and can power other necessary surgical equipment. Also, the We Care Solar site notes how the solar product has been useful in disaster relief efforts. Solar suitcases are used in Africa, Asia and Central America.

Light Up The World (LUTW)

LUTW – a nonprofit based in Canada – focuses on replacing kerosene lamps with solar technologies in more than 50 countries. The organization's site explains how kerosene lamps emit hazardous fumes and don't provide enough light in a household.

LUTW states its commitment to educating community members on solar benefits and providing solar training to community technicians. Its upcoming solar projects are taking place in rural communities within Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador and Papa New Guinea.

The solar industry's impact on the developing world goes far beyond solar panel education and installation. It's also improving communities for the long term by providing hope, opportunity and growth.

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