Uganda - Job creation through the support of local SMEs and whole village electrification
- Selected project
- In progress
Presentation of the NGO
The Foundation Stiftung Solarenergie – Solar Energy Foundation
Since 2004 the Solar Energy Foundation (StS) has been devoting itself to the alleviation of poverty in developing countries by means of the implementation of solar energy. More than 2 million people in Africa and Asia are benefitting from our work.
One of the core elements of this work has always been a focus on sustainability: With donations alone it is not possible to eradicate the poverty in developing countries which is due to a lack of energy sources. This can only be achieved if the strength to alleviate the hardship grows and ripens within the continent itself.
The foundation therefore realise humanitarian projects and train solar technicians by means of donations and through this charitable work we contribute at the same time towards the establishment of independent solar enterprises which create employment on a long-term basis.
For 13 years, StS had been active in providing power for health centers, light for education, and strengthening of local solar ecosystems through support to local SMEs.
The context of the project
The less developed countries with poorer access to electricity rely on kerosene lanterns. But most of them emit fine particulates, carbon monoxide, nitric oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide when burned. These by-products may reduce lung function and increase risks of asthma and cancer. In addition to this, handling the fuel can be dangerous as kerosene is irritating to eyes, skin, and the respiratory system. Furthermore, approximately 40 litres of kerosene per lamp are burnt annually, producing around 80 kg of CO2.
Another source of power are dry cells which are used to operate radios and cassette recorders. When the batteries are flat they are simply thrown away because there is no recycling system. Many roads in african villages are full of old batteries which are frequently cut open by children simply out of curiosity.
More than 80% of Ugandans live in remote and dispersed communities with limited road and energy infrastructure. Uganda electricity access reached more than 50% of the population in urban areas, while in rural areas is still limited to 10% only (World Bank 2014-2016). According to the national census more than 90% of households in Sironko dont have access to energy. 38,400 households are using kerosene lamps for «lighting».
Presentation of the project
The energetic issue
The African Development Bank calculates that some 620 million Africans live without access to reliable electricity. Decentralized energy solutions can cover the needs for households and businesses and provide a sustainable power supply. Many local entrepreneurs want to be part of the solution and provide energy access. But the solar off-grid industry in Africa is dominated by international manufacturers or distributors. The lack of small and medium enterprises (SME) in developing countries is a significant obstacle: «the missing middle». Local small and medium enterprises (SME) are the main driver for innovation, poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. But local companies often fail due to several reasons, such as: Limited access to good quality products – No access to finance to buy these good quality products – Limited access to general business support.
Based on the field experiences since 2004 Stiftung Solarenergie developed a unique program for job creation through support of local SME: Solar Entrepreneurs Network of Decentralized Energy Access.
The solar village concept:
A solar village is a concept to achieve wholesome energy poverty alleviation in a defined geographical area. As an initial measure the Solar Energy Foundation provides all households with a basic supply of solar electricity at a subsidized price: This consists of two LED lamps as well as the possibility of charging a mobile phone. The price which the households have to pay is oriented towards the amount which the poorest families in the village could afford to pay. In this way, it is ensured that every family can receive a basic power supply (Sun King Home 60 from Greenlight Planet).
The payment of the solar systems takes place in monthly installations over a period of six to twelve months. The people can make use of the systems but now pay for solar energy instead of kerosene. When the last installations have been paid, the solar systems become the property of the families.
By the supply of a full village with solar energy we want to show that decentralized solar technology is able to initiate an economic and social development. At the same time the solar village concept is a help for local solar businesses: For installation, user information and maintenance we are relying on local solar companies. According to the concept of solar village, all households only get a basic energy supply for subsidized costs. Therefore our partner company is responsible to serve households and small business in order to cover all additional needs.
Help for self-help
Sustainable approach of Stiftung Solarenergie