News 2012

Sunlabob expands renewable energy footprint in Laos

Sunlabob partners with Fondation Energies pour le Monde to deliver electricity to 82 remote households outside Luang Prabang

Sunlabob recently launched a project funded by Fondation Energies pour le Monde to provide access to electricity to 82 households in a remote village in Luang Prabang province with narrow job opportunities, very limited education and health services and little to no outlook to receive electricity from the national grid.

Sunlabob is supplying, designing, installing and providing community training for a 6.5 kWp solar-powered village mini-grid with emergency diesel generator to enable reliable energy access to Ban Houaypha, a remote village of Phonxay district.

“Enabling access to energy is a central and crucial piece to rural development,” said Mr. Yves Maigne, director of Fondation Energies pour le Monde, a France-based nonprofit organization focused on renewable energy-based rural electrification in developing countries. “This mission can be challenging to achieve with long-term success in remote areas, but Sunlabob’s experience in off-grid markets and a focus on technical training and inclusion of the community offer an economically and socially sustainable avenue for delivering clean energy to the poor.”

To enable both technical and social longevity of the solar-powered electrification, Sunlabob and Fondation Energies pour le Monde will combine their skills: delivery of high-quality state of the art German solar components and support of the local community to establish a village energy committee and village energy technicians. The community members will be trained in technical, system maintenance and bookkeeping capabilities, allowing for a self-sustaining model of rural electrification fully maintained by the village. Further, the new access to electricity will provide the potential for better economic, education and healthcare opportunities throughout the community.

“Rural electrification can only be economically and socially sustainable if members of the community are involved and empowered from the start,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob co-founder and CEO. Sunlabob’s innovative community-based operational models have effectively delivered rural renewable energy and clean water throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa and India.

The Ban Houaypha project marks Sunlabob’s second time working with Fondation Energies pour le Monde to enable renewable energy in remote areas of Laos. In 2009, the two organizations worked in cooperation to deliver a solar-powered mini grid in the remote Laos community of Ban Phakeo, in Luang Prabang province.

About Fondation Energies pour le Monde

Fondation Energies pour le Monde, based in Paris, France, was founded in 1990. Its objective is to bring electricity to remote rural villages, using the best options among renewable local energy sources (solar, wind, hydro). Thanks to its Noria rural electricity planning methodology, more than 1,000,000 people have benefited from its actions in Southeast Asia, Africa and Madagascar. For more information, www.energies-renouvelables.org