About 1.6 billion people don’t have reliable electricity from the grid. The good news is that solar power is now cheaper than diesel for the huge majority of these people, and innovative companies and organizations are working their way into developing countries to get electricity to more and more people. One such innovator is Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS).
SEEDS “has financed the installation of around 52000 solar home systems (SHSs) in rural areas of Sri Lanka,” the YouTube page for the video below indicates. Here’s more on the great working being done there:
Grid electricity extends to about 55% of Sri Lanka’s population, but to only 40% in rural areas. The infrastructure is gradually being extended; but there is a shortage of generating capacity, since the generation of power has not increased alongside an ever-increasing demand. The average rural family in Sri Lanka spends 19% of their income on energy, and many can afford off-grid electricity with a suitable credit system. SEEDS works through accredited solar installers to identify potential loan customers. These loans enable poor households in rural areas to purchase SHSs, and receive the benefits of improved light, communications and entertainment. The monthly repayments are set at a rate which the household can afford to pay, and the loans are paid back over a period of one to four years. Local field officers employed by SEEDS collect monthly repayments, and also carry out checks and minor repairs to the systems. SEEDS has financed the installation of around 52000 SHSs (out of a total of 71000 installed in Sri Lanka) since 1998.