A social enterprise makes it easier for off-grid households to acquire solar-powered lights and other cleantech solutions
Spotted: Many communities in rural Peru are mostly off-grid, relying on lanterns, cookstoves, and candles for heat and light. But now, renewable energy sources are replacing candles and diesel generators in much of the country. Provided by social enterprise PowerMundo, solar-powered lamps help children complete their homework, artisans work in the evening, and doctors attend to patients at night. The organisation also provides communication technologies, improved cookstoves, and water filtration systems.
Using a network of wholesalers, retailers, and sales agents to spread the word about the availability of the solar-powered devices, PowerMundo is also making it easier for individuals and families to afford the new type of power. Using a pay-as-you-go model, users can buy one week’s worth of solar energy at a time.
To make the financing option viable, PowerMundo is working with a range of partners to provide larger solar arrays from which communities can buy power. The larger installations provide enough energy for multiple households and do not require individual devices. A recent recipient of a Startup Perú grant, the company plans to put the money towards installation of additional and sizeable pay-as-you-go systems capable of producing substantial volumes of power.
Other off-grid solar power innovations spotted by Springwise include solar-powered water pumps and fishing lights, India’s first solar-powered town, and a plug-and-play solar energy system for swarm electrification.
Written by: Keely Khoury