INTASAVE Energy, a global not-for-profit and environmental enterprise, has successfully reached its $100,000 Crowdfunding target that will see the installation of the first Solar Nano Grids (SONGs) in the villages of Lemolo B and Echareria in Kenya, each of which will service the needs of at least 250 people.
This is the first major milestone for the project that aims to reach over 500 communities across Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique within three years, transforming the lives of up to 250,000 people, as part of INTASAVE Energy’s vision for every person on the planet to have access to clean, reliable and affordable power.
Having passed the $100,000 target, INTASAVE Energy is extending the deadline to January 1st 2016 to allow further contributions to be made through its not-for-profit crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
“The more funding we can raise at this stage, the more solar nano grids we can roll out to communities in Africa. Anyone can contribute from as little as $10 to help families in off-grid communities not only with household electricity, but to be able to mill corn, incubate chickens, run water pumps and manage micro enterprises, in a clean and sustainable way using SONGs – electricity is essential for development,” said Arran de Moubray, Head of Renewable Energy, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, adding “Kenya was chosen as an ideal starting point in Africa because 30 million people (75% of the population) in Kenya are without electricity, 95% of whom are located in off-grid rural areas, which are simply not viable for larger solar installations”.
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SONGs reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the use of kerosene for lighting and diesel for power generation. School children doing their homework will face less health risks to eyes and lungs as solar power removes the need for kerosene lamps in the home. SONGs also open up micro-enterprise opportunities that will help rural communities become self-sustaining, by providing power for small-scale industrial activity such as milling corn, incubating chickens for breeding, battery charging, refrigeration, copper welding and businesses like hair salons and internet hubs.
INTASAVE Energy is working with local communities, national and regional partners identifying hundreds of appropriate locations for the SONGs using a range of technical, geographical, socio-economic and livelihood criteria.
Speaking on the success of the project, Dr Murray Simpson, Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, and Chief Executive Officer of INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, said: “This project is not about generating a short-term fix or a handout, it’s genuinely empowering people to make their lives better, so reaching our target is a fantastic achievement. It is vitally important to us that each installation provides a self-sustaining beneficial enterprise for families and the local communities, and this long-term approach is why our project is going to succeed where other attempts have struggled to deliver.” Murray concluded: “This is just the beginning, and we envision this growing into a large scalable project on a global level.”
The INTASAVE Energy Indiegogo campaign is still live. All project backers can either donate or choose a ‘perk’, ranging from information packs to limited edition team-building trips to Kenya. Contributions can be made here.