Solar Panels for Education and Quality of Life

Project type Solar

Project location Ethiopia, Kenya

Annual CO₂ reduction 13,976 t

The installation of photovoltaic cells on the roofs of Ethiopian and Kenyan houses for electricity production gives families access to lighting and improves the livelihoods of people living in the rural regions of Ethiopia and Kenya. The use of solar lighting instead of kerosene lamps has positive effects on people’s health and leads to reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

26,000

Solar Home Systems installed

90

jobs created

1.8 million

litres of kerosene saved

The project’s objective is to supply a high number of villages with Solar Home Systems to produce electricity for lighting at home. Over 50 per cent of the population in the rural areas of Ethiopia and Kenya does not have access to electricity and therefore experiences numerous limitations at nighttime.

Once the sun sets usually between 6 and 7 o’clock, the only source of light is a dim kerosene lamp producing health-hazardous smoke. Due to the lack of light, social time, housework and further any educational activities for the children are restricted in the evening. By substituting the poor kerosene lamps with strong solar powered LED lights, environmental, social and economical benefits can be achieved.

Education and training of local people is a key part of activities of the Solar Energy Foundation. To have well-trained personnel available who is able to professionally install and maintain the Solar Home Systems in Ethiopia and Kenya, the “International Solar Energy School” has been founded. After their graduation, five “Technicians” found a new Solar Center in a village and are responsible for the provision of its inhabitants with Solar Home Systems annually. The first Solar Technicians have graduated in March 2008, since then 10 Solar Centers have been opened and more than 96 solar technicians have been trained. Through this approach, many villages are reached and the know-how is spread around the country.

There are four different kinds of solar products offered differing in their power output and application. The solar lanterns and Solar Home Systems have been adapted and tested to fit the lives in rural Ethiopia and Kenya. To assure that every individual household finds a suitable lighting model for its needs and its financial situation, the small portable solar lanterns are sold directly by cash, where as the Solar Home Systems and other larger systems are sold by cash or credit and may be paid back over a specified period of time. The respective price takes into account the income level and ability to pay of the rural communities.

Have a look at two foto-albums on myclimate-Facebook (first and second one)!

 

Impacts and benefits achieved so far:

  • 26,000 Solar Home Systems installed
  • 90 jobs created
  • 1.8 million litres of kerosene saved
  • 140,000 people benefit from access to lighting, improved livelihoods and better health
  • Winner of Ashden Award 2009 and European Solar Prize 2017

Situation without project

Use of kerosene lamps for lighting

Contribution to the SDGs

Project standard

Awards

Project number

7124

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