News 2012

Sunlabob attends largest solar exhibition in the world


Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter, Head of Project Management Meera Ajmera and Head of Sales Andrea Buetler recently headed to Munich, Germany to attend Intersolar Europe, the largest solar exhibition and conference in the world, held from June 13-15 2012.

They joined approximately 70,000 visitors and 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world to experience three days of innovation, vision and insightful lectures.

Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter had the honour of being invited by The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) to give a presentation at the event and thus shared his expert opinion about rural electrification potential in South East Asia.

In his speech, attended by over 200 global leaders, Andy highlighted that the biggest market potential for renewable energy in South East Asia was in off grid, especially in countries like Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia where the electrification ratio is very low.

Often electrification projects fail due to general grid extension projects being too cost intensive and inaccessible to everyone. Traditional Solar Home Systems can be an alternative, but risk not being sustainable because of lack of maintenance and the absence of an operational model.

Furthermore, in the project designing phase, there is often a mismatch of beneficiary needs and solutions implemented. The reason being that donor agencies involved in the project designing process are located far away from the beneficiaries, thus having a lack of understanding of the local conditions. Traditionally, local actors are not involved in the designing process, which tends to be a systemic failure in rural electrification projects.

The way forward, according to Andy, is to establish decentralized Mini Grids and develop sound operational models and maintenance schemes to ensure optimal operations and increased lifespan of equipment. Emphasis should shift towards quality and long term solutions for the poorest who have no access to electricity.

Further, Andy recommends that project proposal evaluation systems be improved, focusing less on lower priced equipment and more on the quality of material and services delivered, including the amount of maintenance services rendered.

Andy concluded his presentation by emphasizing the importance of funding agencies, local partners and implementers working closer together to improve efficiency and effectiveness of implementation and maintenance services.

Intersolar Europe certainly gave Sunlabob a fantastic opportunity to network and keep up- to-date with the latest developments and innovations in the renewable energy field.

Such an event delivers long-term benefits such as the ability to increase professional knowledge, disseminate latest technological practices, forge international networks, drive business collaborations, and profile industry issues.” said Andy.

For more information, please download Andy’s presentation.
Please also check the Intersolar Europe website.