A Simple Solar Light Is Life Changing In This Indonesian Village

Highlights :

  • The case for cheap, distributed solar continues to be strong, to provide relief where the electricity grid cannot.
  • In Islands, hilly regions and more, there is a need for a concerted effort.

Solar is more than just light. In a recent article on its website, IRENA has highlighted just how much.

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The article highlights the example of homemaker Konda Ngguna living in a small village in Laindeha, Sumba Island, Indonesia.

Till a few years back, there used to be a total  blackout in the Laindeha village after sun set. There was no light source except for a temporary alternative of kerosene lamp. But the lamp was rarely used because there was a constant fear of kerosene spill could lead a fire.

With a baby to tend, Konda could not do much because of the darkness. There was always a rush to do house chores before 6 in the evening. This affected both, the household activities and income generation. To support her family’s finances Konda also ran a small grocery shop in her home, but could not open it after late evening.

An opportunity to use the plug-in-and-play solar system came in the market and Konda saw this as a hope to support and run her family as well as business. She volunteered to buy it

The Power Wells home solar system is produced by reprocessing electronic waste. This renewable energy driven system is designed for the rural off-grid home, to replace kerosene and candle lanterns. The power generates light in the homes, helping the villagers to charge their phones and use basic home appliances.

For Ngguna, the light means her children being able to study longer, no fear of tripping and causing accidents in the night, and even better earning opportunities by keeping her shop open longer.

Indonesia which is expected to achieve its set target of 23 percent by 2025 could do more by using such distributed solar options. As could the rest of the developing world especially.  Especially since distributed solar such as this is far easier to spread, as compared to larger utility scale plants in the complex archipelago that is Indonesia. With an aim of installing 523.6 GW, Indonesia has accomplished setting up 180 MW in 2020.

Seeing the benefits of the solar plug and play system, the villagers have shown a keen interest in buying through an entrepreneurship scheme with the support of various foundations like KOPPESDA ,SSS etc.

In many countries across Africa, and even in India , such options have brought relief to people much before the grid could. We shouldn’t ignore them now when supply shocks continue to roil the larger grid system with its priority for key consumer groups and industries.

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