EKOenergy grants €319,116 to provide solar power to off-grid Andean communities

Photo: Practical Action Bolivia

Solar power and training to help smallholder farmers adapt to the impact of the climate crisis

Earlier this year, EKOenergy took a significant step forward by introducing multiyear funding through closed calls, enhancing the impact of its Climate Fund by providing crucial long-term support for renewable energy projects in low- and middle-income countries. In January, we decided to grant €313,581 to Renewable World’s project “Using Renewable Energy to Transform Fishing Livelihoods” (also called RE4ICE), in fishing communities across Lake Victoria, Kenya. While that first long-term project is now well underway with promising initial progress, we are now pleased to announce the selection of another multi-year initiative.

Thanks to users of EKOenergy-ecolabelled energy, we can fund the UK-registered charity Practical Action and its SOL4FARM project in Bolivia. Over the next 3.5 years, this initiative aims to provide solar panels and irrigation systems to 10 communities near Lake Titicaca, benefiting 280 households. The solar power systems, ranging from 3-8.5 kWp depending on the community’s needs, will also include tanks, pumps, and irrigation systems, each capable of irrigating a 15-hectare area (5 m3/hour irrigation capacity).

These systems will empower farmers and indirectly benefit approximately 68,257 inhabitants reliant on their cultivated crops.

Working collaboratively with the local community, Practical Action will provide training in the operation and maintenance of solar and irrigation equipment. Water management committees, formed in consultation with local water authorities and community leaders, will oversee maintenance and charge fees allocated to a savings fund for ongoing maintenance and repairs.

Traditionally reliant on rainwater for cultivation, these households have faced challenges in generating income above the poverty level and this has become even worse because of droughts caused by climate change. The project also provides training in sustainable farming techniques, enhancing crop resilience, and promotes environmental awareness, fostering more sustainable and responsible agriculture in the communities.

In summary, the solar-powered irrigation systems and nature-based agricultural practices are expected to boost agricultural productivity, conserve natural resources, and contribute to the region’s overall well-being.

This funding decision aligns with EKOenergy’s commitment to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those addressing clean energy access, poverty reduction, and climate action.

Funding renewable energy projects thanks to EKOenergy users

Like all other Climate Fund projects, this transformative project is made possible thanks to the increasing number of consumers committed to using EKOenergy. In the past 8 years, the EKOenergy Climate Fund has granted a total of €2,915,945.70 for new renewable energy projects.

You can find an overview of all funded projects on the Climate Fund page of this website.

Published: 29 November 2023