Check out this cool indiegogo campaign to bring Solar Power to Nepal
SunFarmer is creating a new model for delivering reliable energy to health clinics! Help us fund construction of solar energy systems at 3 – 5 health clinics in Nepal in early 2014.
2.5 billion people around the world lack access to reliable energy. Imagine going to a health clinic that goes dark when the sun goes down, cannot provide routine lab tests, and uses tools that aren’t sterilized due to a lack of electricity. This is a reality around the world:
- An estimated 300,000 health clinics serving 1 billion patients don’t have reliable electricity
- Almost 50% of vaccines in developing countries are ruined due to unreliable refrigeration
The current model for delivering electricity to health clinics is broken
There are three primary ways that remote health clinics access electricity:
1. Operate diesel generator: Diesel generators are the primary source of electricity at many health clinics. Generators often break down, and sometimes diesel fuel just isn’t available due to transport issues. And, the price is exorbitant: one 25-bed hospital we visited pays over $30,000 per year on diesel!
2. Use bank loan to install solar: Well actually, bank loans are rarely available to health clinics; when they are, the rates are unaffordable. Even with a bank loan, health clinics often lack the technical expertise to procure a high quality solar system.
3. Get a donated solar system: Donated systems sound great! Sadly, many donated systems haven’t performed over the long term:
Too much focus on upfront costs: Paying up front means that donors are often focused on upfront costs. This often leads to low quality equipment and corner cutting on installations – resulting in systems that don’t last.
- Lack of ongoing support: All too often, solar experts disappear after the solar system is installed and ribbons get cut! Systems can break in just a few years without regular monitoring and maintenance.
There has to be a better way! Help SunFarmer pilot a new model
Health clinics need a new model for getting reliable and affordable solar energy. Here’s how we do it:
SunFarmer is creating an innovative “rent to own” financing model for solar energy. We partner with local companies to install solar energy systems, built to SunFarmer’s highest quality standards. Instead of paying for unreliable grid power or diesel, clinics make monthly payments towards the purchase of a solar energy system.
What’s so cool about this?
- Provide energy over the long term: Health clinics aren’t solar experts. “Rent to own” means that our solar experts stick around and make sure systems actually work.
- Crowd funding replaces unaffordable bank financing: Banks don’t extend affordable financing for these important projects. Together we can create a better financing option.
- Your money is not a one-time giveaway: We want to reach hundreds of health clinics and hospitals in the next few years, and we can’t do it by giving solar systems away. Instead, your money is the “loan” needed to enable health clinics to purchase solar energy. Any profits from energy payments are recycled into new solar energy projects, meaning your money keeps having impact, year after year!
We believe that developing markets can and will pay for reliable energy from solar. Banks aren’t providing financing, and giving away solar systems hasn’t worked – let’s work together to provide a new solution
Ok, I am convinced, so what’s the plan?
We have identified 3 health clinics in far-Western Nepal in need of reliable power. We are partnering with both the Nepali government as well as an award-winning US nonprofit, Nyaya Health, to provide power to these health posts. These clinics serve a population of 18,000 people, some of which walk several hours to reach the health post.