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Solar power:improving the lives of rural Nicaraguans

News from Nicaragua | Monday, 9 June 2014 |

The Nicaraguan government aims to achieve 94% renewable energy by 2017, one of the most ambitious targets in the world. This has been coupled with a huge expansion of the national grid particularly in rural areas. The impact on those living in poverty has been profound. However, this expansion needs to be complemented by technologies such as solar power to provide small amounts of electricity in more isolated areas that would otherwise be off grid.

Danielle Gent, a post-doctoral research associate at Loughborough University, explains how a micro credit programme has helped 200 families in the rural areas of Masaya and Managua. The project has been carried out by the Association for Integrated Community Development (ADIC ) supported by the Leicester Masaya Link Group. Participants repay the credit over an agreed period and typically spend less than they would on poorer quality lighting sources, such as candles or kerosene.