The International Energy Agency estimates that roughly 1.1 billion people in the world still live without access to electricity. In many communities throughout the world, most all rural labor is still unmechanized, candles – which are both expensive and dangerous – are the only source of light available once the sun sets. Small, inexpensive photovoltaic power (PV) systems can provide households with up to 12 hours of light during the night, allowing people to do more with their waking hours at no additional cost.
Looking at the larger picture of our planet’s environment, solar energy has the potential to make a substantial positive impact on the earth’s C02 footprint. The Environmental Protection Agency shows that generating electric power causes over a third of all green house gas emissions so reducing the electricity we draw from the grid means reducing carbon emissions.
Solar Portraits is an ongoing long-term project depicting communities around the world, many of which for the first time have access to electricity through the power of solar energy. The scenes have all been lit using only solar powered light bulbs which are contributing to the improvement in people’s standard of living.
Rubén Salgado Escudero was born in Madrid, Spain. He lived in the United States throughout his teenage years, graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design and later lived 10 years in Berlin, Germany. In 2014, while based in Myanmar, he began his photography career working there when the country was in the beginning stages of opening up to the outside world. Rubén’s works have been exhibited in more than over 20 cities across the world including New York, London, Tokyo and at the ”Rencontres D’arles” festival in France. He is a member of ‘The Photo Society’, a community of National Geographic Magazine photographers.
As an experienced lecturer, Rubén has given a TedX Talk in Beijing, various talks worldwide for National Geographic Learning, as well as in venues such as Temple University Tokyo and the Sony Gallery in New York City. His projects have been published in most major international publications, and has won various international awards including the Sony World Photography Award two years in a row and POY Latam.