Solar Panels, Nicaragua
In Nicaragua, 25 per cent of the population does not have access to electricity — and roughly 60 per cent of those people live in rural areas where coffee is grown. There are limited funding sources for rural electrification, and the damage and costs of non-renewable lighting sources such as kerosene and diesel are significant. Breathing kerosene fumes is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, exposing women and children especially to respiratory illnesses, and a typical household burning 1 litre of kerosene per week releases nearly 134 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
Through our 1% for the Planet program, Salt Spring Coffee is working with EOS International to provide affordable solar energy to farms in Nicaragua. These energy-efficient systems consist of solar panels, LED light bulbs, simple electronic components and batteries, and have a low environmental impact while providing power for essentials. EOS systems can be repaired locally and include inverters that allow farmers to charge electrical devices such as cellphones, providing access to information from the surrounding world, including weather reports and emergency notices.
By working with EOS and farmers in Nicaragua, we are improving health, generating wealth along with power, and preserving the environment for the next generation of Central American growers.