what we do

why we do it

where it is needed

Sustainable Power

Certain SPI projects involve working with partner organizations to provide general electrification for lighting, refrigeration, cooking, and plug loads (e.g. computers), all from solar panels coupled with battery storage.  Why would electrification with sustainable power be so important to so many when grid power is everywhere?  Find out more below.

Clean Water

Power from SPI solar electrification projects is tailor-made for powering DC water pumps in boreholes to lift clean water directly to points-of-use or elevated storage tanks for controlled gravity feed. For many areas of the world, finding a convenient supply of water is challenging enough.  How about finding a supply of clean water?  Find out more below.

Photo: UN Food & Agriculture Organization

Education

In many developing countries, solar electrification in rural communities without grid access can significantly improve the quality of education for primary and secondary students, especially girls.  How so?  Find out more below. 

Public Health

Imagine seeking treatment for a serious or life threatening condition or injury in parts of the world that have limited public health systems, including hospitals and clinics that don't have access to power or a reliable power supply. Can't imagine it?  Find out more below.

Climate Response

Solar electrification doesn't contribute emissions associated with climate change, and is an important means to powering parts of the world most likely to be impacted by and the least responsible for climate change.  Does that sound equitable?  It's not.  Find out more below.

 

 

Sustainable Power

In 2016 approximately 950 million people didn't have access to grid electricity, down from approximately 1.5 billion in 1990.  Progress, no doubt, but there remains an enormous need for electrification in the world, especially on the African continent and the sub-continent of India.  In Tanzania and Zambia, two countries where Sun Partners has implemented solar electrification projects, the number of people without access to electricity is 37 million and 12 million, respectively.

         (Hover over interactive map below for more data; map tool provided by Our World in Data, University of Oxford).

Africa at daylight, highlighting its strong solar resource.

Africa at night, highlighting its widespread scarcity of electricity. Source of photos: NASA

 

Clean Water

According to the World Health Organization, 750 million people lack access to an improved water supply, including 150 million who drink, cook, and bath with often-contaminated surface water.  Contaminated water is a leading cause of water-born illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery, resulting in over 500,000 deaths globally every year.  In Tanzania and Zambia, countries where Sun Partners has implemented solar-assisted water pumping projects, the number of people without access to clean water is 24 million and 5.5 million, respectively.

         (Hover over interactive map below for more data; map tool provided by Our World in Data, University of Oxford).

Idetemya, Tanzania 

Chibolya slum area, Lusaka, Zambia

 

Education

A number of countries in Africa have a remarkably low percentage of students completing lower secondary education (equivalent to junior high school).  The percentage of girls completing lower secondary education is even less, due to multiple factors including risk associated with walking long distances to school.  In Tanzania, where Sun Partners has implemented a solar electrification project for a girl's dormitory designed to keep 96 girls in upper secondary school (high school), only 35% of all students, male and female, complete lower secondary school.

         (Hover over interactive map below for more data; map tool provided by Our World in Data, University of Oxford).

Girl's Dormitory - Idetemya, Tanzania 

 

Public Health

A number of indicators characterize a country's public health status, including child mortality rate, life expectancy, and burden of diseases and conditions, including digestive and tropical diseases and nutritional deficiencies.  Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden of disease levels in the world. In Tanzania, where Sun Partners implemented a solar/battery system at a rural medical clinic to reduce operating costs and improve reliability of its power supply, the Country-wide child mortality rate is 5.5%, a level 5 to 15 times higher than in developed countries.

         (Hover over interactive map below for more data; map tool provided by Our World in Data, University of Oxford).

Delivery Room, FAME Medical Clinic - Karatu, Tanzania 

Operating Theater, FAME Medical Clinic - Karatu, Tanzania 

 

Climate Response

An increase in global population and industrialization is strongly correlated to an increase in atmospheric CO2, which is strongly correlated to an increase in average global temperatures. Historically, developed countries, most notably the U.S., have contributed a disproportionate amount of CO2 emissions, with African countries contributing very little. Yet Africa, the least responsible for but the most vulnerable to climate change will bear the brunt of its impacts, including added stress on water supplies, crops, fisheries, public health, and human migration.

         (Hover over interactive map below for more data; map tool provided by Our World in Data, University of Oxford).

Source:

University of Notre Dame