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Off-Grid Solar Solutions Shine in Low-income Rural Cambodia

WIND MEASUREMENTS

  • 04 2011 08
    Siem Reap, Cambodia –Cambodia's decades of war has made the country's poor electricity infrastructure even worse, leaving millions of Cambodians in constant struggle for lighting. But that is now changing. With declining prices of solar technology and the introduction of low-income oriented payment options, villagers are increasingly harnessing the sun to power their wooden huts.Untapped Market Potential

    kerosene lampIn rural Cambodia, where about 11 million people live beyond the reach of electric grids, most villagers rely on one of two sources for lighting: kerosene lamps, which serve nearly half of this off-grid market (left), or automobile batteries, which villagers use if they have a bit more money and seek energy for lighting, cell phone charging and watching television.

    But there are downsides to these two solutions. Villagers explain that the open flame kerosene lamps often burn their children. And although using automobile batteries is safer, it requires frequent trips to diesel-powered charging stations to recharge the battery.

    “When my parents were too busy to recharge the empty batteries, the whole family ended up sitting in the dark,” said Muon Tuorn, a 25-year-old guesthouse receptionist who shared her experience.

    Such troubles are opening the door for solar solutions that provide safe light and require no travel time. More importantly, rural families have discovered that solar lanterns and solar home systems can even help them save money. Sursa: renewableenergyworld.com