In the developed world, we focus on how solar power will interrupt traditional grid systems, but in many parts of the world — such as Africa and Mexico — there is no electrical grid. Hundreds of thousands of people live their lives never knowing the benefits of electric power.
Iluméxico, a Mexican social enterprise focused on solar power, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) and made a commitment to install solar home systems on 50,000 off-grid rural homes in Mexico by the year 2020. The project will benefit approximately 300,000 people and will create 180 new jobs, half of which which be reserved for women. 70 of the jobs will be located in those rural communities.
The company plans to increase its “ILU Centros” support network from five to 50 locations nationwide and strengthen alliances with both public and private institutions. Anticipating up to 70% growth within the next five years, Iluméxico also plans to expand its business into two new Latin American countries by 2020.
“Delivering affordable, sustainable solar power to off-grid rural communities brings Iluméxico one step closer to realising its vision of ensuring access to electricity for all Mexicans by 2040,” stated Manuel Wiechers, Iluméxico’s CEO. “Bringing clean, long-lasting illumination to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid is furthering the country’s development through income generation and learning opportunities for client families, along with cleaner, more sustainable energy use. We are pleased that our work has been recognised by the Business Call to Action and look forward to working with the organisation and fellow members to advance our mission.”
More than three million Mexicans – 600,000 households – live in remote, rural locations, according to The Guardian. Their geographic location and isolation make it difficult and expensive for government infrastructure and electrification projects to reach them. Iluméxico’s business model taps into this unmet need through the design and manufacture of a wide range of solar systems for bottom-of-the-economic pyramid markets. Approximately 60% of Iluméxico’s customers are indigenous and all live in isolated areas in communities of less than 100 households.
“Consistent access to clean, efficient energy can transform lives and livelihoods, with widespread impacts on a country’s development agenda,” says Suba Sivakumaran, BCtA’s programme manager “This includes income-generating opportunities, reduced use of biomass and other unsustainable solid fuels, greater opportunities for education and healthcare, and more engaged, productive households and communities.”
Photo Credit: Business Call To Action