Angola, Peru, Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Xantrex and Schneider Electric empowering the community of Angola, Peru
The most recently published figures on the availability of energy around the world shockingly highlight a widespread inequality around access to affordable, reliable, and efficient sources of energy. The World Energy Outlook published in 2014 by the International Energy Agency estimates that nearly 1.3 billion people around the world are without access to electricity. This inequality is ever more concerning due to its concentration in underdeveloped nations and, in particular, in rural and isolated communities.
Given the recognized impact of access to energy on quality of life, it is not surprising that important social initiatives have flourished in hopes of assisting isolated and rural communities in the acquisition of affordable, reliable, and efficient sources of energy. Consistently, solar energy has been recognized as one of the most salient solutions for the fight against energy inequality in underdeveloped and developing nations. The appeal of solar energy primarily stems from its renewable nature and for the opportunities it affords for the development of communities.
Xantrex, a leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power market, in partnership with Schneider Electric, their parent company, are committed to the reduction of inequalities around the world associated with access to energy. This worldwide initiative has led to the identification of vulnerable communities which well being has been limited by inadequate access to energy.
Earlier this year, Xantrex and Schneider Electric along with the NGO Gaia Watch travelled to Anexo Angola, a small village located 130 kilometers south of Lima, Peru. This remote village composed of 32 families has never enjoyed access to electricity or portable water. Mainly drawing energy from diesel powered electric generators, the families of Anexo Angola face limited access to power due to the increasing cost of diesel in the area. With no infrastructure in place to supply its resident with electricity, portable and renewable energy solutions were promptly identified as a viable solution to bring electricity to Anexo Angola.
Through the installation of solar panels, power conversion equipment, and individual lightning systems in each of the 32 homes at Anexo Angola, Schneider Electric and Xantrex played an integral role in the provision of a sustainable, affordable, and reliable environmentally friendly solution for the energy needs of Anexo Angola. This initiative, consistent with our commitment to social responsibility, impacted the lives of residents of Anexo Angola in several other ways. Although this initiative primarily brought electricity to the community, it also allowed residents to enjoy security during the night. Finally, and as proof of the positive effect of this initiative in the community, the installation of solar panels and lightning systems will permit children in the community to study at home – something they could not do prior to the initiative.
Xantrex and Schneider Electric also recognize that the benefits of this initiative should go beyond the installation of equipment for the benefit of the community. As part of this initiative, residents of the community, organized under the name Angolasol, were also invited to be trained and to learn about their solar energy, and about how to use and maintain their new equipment. Empowering of the community, as much as access to energy, propels the development of its residents.
Initiatives like this one demonstrate that access to affordable and reliable energy sources not only have a direct impact in remote and underprivileged communities, but also highlight the fact that renewable energies, such as solar energy, are at the forefront of the fight against worldwide inequalities around access to energy. The partnership model between leaders in solar and mobile power and grassroots organizations, as exemplified above, serves as a successful guide for future initiatives committed to the betterment of communities.