The Challenge: Over 1.3 million people in Nicaragua (primarily rural) are not connected to grid electricity. Local families are currently dependant on kerosene lamps, candles, and battery powered flashlights for lighting. All of which provide poor light quality, pose environmental and health risks and are costly; $5 to $11CDN each month for an average family consuming two to four liters of kerosene).
Energy for All is partnering with local communities and NGO’s to support the implementation of a solar lighting micro credit project with the community. The farming community is paying 3 to 4 months of their savings toward the residential system. The entire project includes 1000 solar lighting systems for residential homes and schools. This project will be implemented in phases.
Further details include:
- Each solar system includes a 50 Watt or 100 Watt solar panel, 4 LED lights, cables, inverter and 12 Volt sealed lead acid battery.
Capacity Building: Training and education will be provided for the local technicians who will be maintaining the systems. Some of this training will include; community organization, the operation and maintenance of the solar lighting system, the administration and financial aspects of sustaining the project, the use and management of resources, and environmental education.
- El Cua Community Members,
- Green Empowerment,
- Municipality of El Cua
- Association of Rural Development Workers – Ben Linder (ATDER-BL)
Region: El Cua and San Jose de Bocay communities in the northerly Jinotegaregion
Tags: Solar Lighting, Micro Credit
Timeline: June 2019
Microfinance model: This program provides interest free credit and a 25-50% cost subsidy to families to support their purchase of a 50- or 100-watt solar system, in addition to training 10 local technicians to install and maintain the systems. By using a microcredit model and training locals as technicians, the program not only solves this problem of energy access for purchasing families, but also promotes financial literacy and responsibility, ensures local ownership, and provides income-generating opportunities for those trained.