Renewable Energy for Rural Communities in Nicaragua

By Morgan da Silva- Grupo Fenix

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My name is Morgan da Silva and I'm raising money to support my volunteer work with Grupo Fenix located in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. The organisation works in partnership with the National Engineering University in Managua to promote renewable energy and sustainable living in rural communities.

My Volunteer work will address energy poverty which is 7th on the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and aims to ensure affordable and sustainable energy for all. Currently 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity, 87% of which live in rural areas. This can range from a lack of education due to lack of light for studying to no communication without charging for mobile phones.

The Grupo Fenix project contributes to rural communities by developing alternative solutions to harmful environmental practises creating an awareness of sustainable life-styles through technical and cultural exchange, promotion and research in the field of renewable energy and other sustainable technologies. The guiding principles are community participation, respect for the environment and human dignity.

Since 1996, Grupo Fénix has promoted and produced renewable energy alternatives for the Nicaraguan people, including hundreds of solar-powered off-grid electricity systems, and a variety of solar water heating systems, water pumps, ovens, dryers, drip-irrigation systems and battery-charging stations, as well as biogas digesters and a micro-hydroelectric station.

At the moment Nicaragua relies heavily on imported fossil fuels for 75% of their current energy consumption. The remaining 25% are sourced from hydropower and small amounts of geothermal energy.

Ironically, the country is extremely rich in certain types of renewable energy sources which the World Bank estimates to at about 5,800 megawatts of potential energy capacity. Nicaragua aims to produce 90% of its energy from clean renewable sources by 2020.

Your donations will contribute to 4 months of volunteering at the project. The majority of your donation will go to the development of the Solar Community. A small portion will go to the families providing my board and lodging as well as my flight.

The aim is to raise around £3500 for these costs. Any additional costs will contribute to the work of the organisation.

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