November 25, 2013
Buen Power Peru Announces USAID Grant to bring Solar Lights to 10,000 rural Peruvians
Buen Power Peru (BPP), a solar energy enterprise co-founded by an American engineer and a Peruvian entrepreneur, has just announced its intention to bring solar lights to approximately 10,230 low-income Peruvians with Stage 1 support from USAID's Development Innovation Ventures (DIV). Buen Power Peru will receive $99,992 in grants as part of the Innovation Fund for the Americas (IFA), the Americas arm of DIV launched in 2012 by President Obama at the VI Summit of the Americas. BPP will use funding to build a network of local teachers in largely inaccessible Andean, Alpine communities to distribute clean, renewable solar light to those without access to traditional sources of electricity.
Approximately 20% of all Peruvians lack access to electricity. With investment from USAID's DIV, Buen Power Peru will map out a strategy that aims to scale low-cost lighting and energy solutions to all 4.2 million Peruvians living without power. The solar lights chosen for this project are manufactured by d.light design, a US company also working with DIV in Kenya and Uganda.
Buen Power Peru's approach will begin by bringing together a large corps of educators in the city of Cusco to offer training and information sessions on the uses, benefits, and science behind solar energy and solar lights. The teachers, who typically procure second jobs to mitigate systemically low salaries, will bring this information back to their distant communities. Through educational sessions, they will then sell lights from d.light design at an affordable, subsidized cost to residents of their communities. Teachers will earn remuneration from the light sales. By utilizing teachers, Buen Power Peru will eliminate one of the largest financial burdens of bringing solar energy to disconnected communities: that of establishing distribution networks over the thousands of miles of dangerous, unpaved roads connecting major cities to distant communities.
Over the next year, the grant from USAID will cover the cost of importing and distributing solar lights capable of lighting a typical family house in selected Andean communities. It is estimated that with these lights, Alpine residents, who live at altitudes where the sun sets at 6 PM year-round, will enjoy an extra four hours of productive, waking hours every day. A corresponding evaluation will gather evidence on the impact of solar access on members of the community in four main areas: the output of women working in the home who weave artisanal clothing from Alpaca fibers; the quality of study for children who will have nighttime hours to read and finish homework; savings the family will gain from not having to purchase expensive batteries to power flashlights; and the air quality in the homes no longer using kerosene lanterns for light. This data will assist BPP in developing a system of best practices to empower teachers across all of Peru to make a living wage while drastically improving the lives of their countrymen and women who have been for generations working and living in the dark.
About Buen Power Peru (BPP)
Buen Power Peru is a Peruvian social enterprise that seeks to alleviate the lack of electricity in Peru. The Company's products enhance the end users' Quality of Life by bringing affordable, personal solar lights to indigenous Peruvians located in remote mountain and jungle areas, as well as solar panel systems and solar hot water systems to Peruvians not connected to the electric grid. Buen Power Peru is located in Cusco, Peru. For more information, visit the Company's Website at www.buenpower.com.
About Development Innovation Ventures at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) USAID's Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is an investment platform that finds, tests, and scales new solutions to development challenges around the world. The Innovation Fund for the Americas (IFA) is the Americas arm of DIV that aims to invest in cost-effective, breakthrough solutions to key development challenges in the region. For more information, visit www.usaid.gov/div.
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