RuralLight: Renewable Energy Off the Grid
RuralLight is a Philippine-based non-profit organization that’s using renewable energy to create sustainable businesses, improve local education and reduce poverty while keeping the environmental impact carbon-neutral. There are still 2,400 villages in the country living off the grid and the government is finding it too expensive to hook them up to the power plants. This is because the multi-island structure of the Philippines would require extending electrical cables across water, which is simply too costly. Alternatives such as solar panels and geothermal energy will allow these communities the opportunity to finally integrate with the mainstream economy by providing them with energy independence.
Computer literacy, IT services, late night studying and businesses that go beyond basic agriculture will now be made possible without traditional urbanization. RuralLight’s first project is this solar-powered production facility for lemongrass oil, which is sold to various providers of cosmetics, spa treatments and herbal remedies. RuralLight founder Lex Reyes says next up is a PC business for rural communities powered by renewable energy, to be completed later this year.