Affordable and Sustainable Off-grid Solar Power to Rural Households

Tanzania is a country in Eastern Africa, famous for its amazing scenery, its rich wildlife and welcoming people. Despite good economic growth in recent years, only a few percent of the rural population has access to electricity. This project is a pilot project in the Renewable Energy Program and is being implemented in cooperation with the local organization MAVUNO Projects in the Tanzanian village of Chonyonyo. The project is about developing, implementing and evaluating a business plan to sell and install small-scale solar systems, called Solar Home Systems (SHS), to private households. Secondly, this will help the organization MAVUNO Projects to launch a sale of solar cell systems, to spread the use of solar panels in the area, but also serve as a template for how Engineers Without Borders can work on similar projects in the future.

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Project value:

Lack of access to electricity is one of the major obstacles to development in the global south. To increase the access to sustainable energy, supporting local entrepreneurs in selling sustainable energy solutions is a way to counteract this problem. This will also support and strengthen the local economy as well as expedite the development in these areas. The business model developed in this project will help future projects and work as a template for how entrepreneurs can run similar businesses. Market research from this summer will also be valuable for Renewable Energy Program (REP).

Locally the project will create awareness of sustainable energy solutions, as well as provide access to electricity for rural households. This will have the following outcomes:

·       Increased access to light, providing increased safety for especially women in the area. This will also give children the possibility to study after dark.

·       Increased communication possibilities due to mobile charging possibilities.

·       Strengthen local economy.

·       Health and environmental benefits when kerosene is replaced by the SHS.