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Capacity building in the solar energy sector with Phocos

The Phocos AG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar charge controllers and components for autonomous power supply. Phocos specializes in isolated applications which work without access to power grids. This is complemented by energy-saving appliances such as lamps, refrigerators or TV monitors. The products developed and produced by Phocos make it possible, to efficiently use solar energy.

In most Latin American countries, roughly 30% of households have no access to electricity. In rural areas the percentage is much higher. Apart from using firewood, diesel-powered generators are most widely used to generate the necessary electricity.This leads to enormous costs and high CO2 emissions. Photovoltaic systems are a good alternative for remote areas and can support economic and ecological development in Latin America. So far, however, there is still little awareness of the benefits of renewable energy, mainly due to the lack of knowledge regarding installation and maintenance. This inhibits the market potential of solar energy.

The aim of the PPP project is to improve access to clean and safe energy in rural areas of Bolivia through training and education in order to raise awareness. As part of the project “solar engineers” are trained. Furthermore, educational programs are designed and conducted in schools and universities in order to create sustainable structures for the dissemination and permanent maintenance of solar energy in rural areas. The know-how transfer is supported by a virtual platform.

WiN=WiN effects

The PPP-project allows better access to electricity and reduces the use of environmentally hazardous energy sources such as kerosene or diesel. Awareness-raising campaigns spread the word about solar energy as a sustainable technology for power generation. Through the use of the above mentioned “solar engineers”, who are able to build a sustainable livelihood for themselves via the installation and maintenance, it is also possible to reach the most remote and least accessible areas of Bolivia.

The Phocos AG has already a permanent establishment in Bolivia and has identified great potential in the Bolivian market. The PPP-Project offers the chance to further spread their technology in households and small businesses alike. The company also benefits from a wider network of qualified distribution partners. The experiences gained in the Bolivian market will also be of use for the expansion into other Latin American countries.

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