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Environment and Development Division +66 2 288 1234 [email protected]

The technology being used for this project is solar energy, using a photovoltaic array to
operate a charging station for the lanterns, used for home lighting. One of the unique features of this
project is that end-users do not pay for the hardware (i.e. the lanterns), but only for the service (i.e. the
charging), enabling poor households in off-grid areas to effectively buy hours of solar lighting, offering a
cheaper, cleaner, and safer alternative to kerosene lamps. The central charging station is operated by a
village technician, trained by Sunlabob, who is in charge of issuing fully-charged lanterns, collecting
charging fees, and maintaining the system. A village energy committee acts as a platform for collective
decision and provides good local governance. This solution is offered as an alternative to conventional
solar lanterns, which have been widely propagated as a solution for lighting in remote off-grid villages,
but have shown to fail early because of low quality components. Also, batteries are often irregularly
charged, or households engage in "hotwiring" to use the batteries for operating other equipment,
resulting in early battery failure. The consequence is that kerosene still rules the off-grid lighting market.

Additional Materials
Contact
Environment and Development Division +66 2 288 1234 [email protected]