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The solar powered community

Building on the solar power inspirations that I found, I want to build the solar powered community. Using this, people can power their homes, their phones and we could build solar powered cooking areas...

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Written by DeletedUser

In the inspiration phase I got quite taken with the possibilities that solar power offers. The solar powered cookers and solar powered lamp and charger  are two inspirations that have great potential for start up social enterprises. The first provides simple solar powering that people can use to get power to their homes.

The second, using solar cookers, could enable people to set up restaurants and manage communal cooking areas.

These would be great businesses and improve health and social outcomes for the people of Caldas.

How do you envision this idea making money?

Managing the introduction of solar panels could provide to community groups and vulnerable people opportunities to sell the panels and manage communal spaces where the panels are used. Small fees could be taken for renting these items and food produced could be sold in the community.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

By using solar power people wouldn't be so reliant on other fuels - this has health benefits through reduced exposure to the smoke etc that other fuels burn off. It also means women wouldn't have to collect wood.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

By working with community groups and vulnerable people this idea would aid poorer people. By providing lighting and communal areas this idea would improve the social side of life in Caldas.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

By investing in solar panels and cookers we could provide the impetus to get this idea off the ground.


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OK - I got some feedback from a colleague - who knows a little about these things - he's quite direct but does raise some interesting points are getting in hot water here...

...despite all the claims by the manufacturers the simple fact is that they don't work. women don't like using them, they are inconvenient and not culturally acceptable, they might work in special circumstances, refugee camps or particular foods for example, but the experience in various trials around the world is that women do not like them, take up is very limited. If you want to use solar for cooking better to heat the water through solar water heaters, you will see them on the roofs of many houses in the Mediterranean, take up on solar water heating is very good, it is cheap, easy and most energy spent in cooking is heating up the water.

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