Solar Lantern Station in Koh Preah Village
The solar project started in April 2012, in Koh Preah village, in Stung Treng province. In this 300 families’ village, these two solar projects were installed by CRDT Lao partner Sunlabob and funded by the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP). The main utility of the solar is to charge lanterns. Each household was provided one of the 104 available lanterns that they would use for lighting.
Currently, 100% of those households have access and are glad to use the Solar Lantern System. For the households, the recharging fee is a regular small expense, similar to buying kerosene at the village shop. However, with these rechargeable solar lanterns, the households get better quality and safer lighting compared with using kerosene and part of the fee will go towards the maintenance of the lanterns. This money is managed by the community committee inside the village. The total income from solar panels is around USD 250 for 2 solar panels in Koh Preah village. This money will be kept for maintenance and to buy new lanterns to expand the project to other families inside the village.
This solar lantern system allowed CRDT beneficiaries to save money in decreasing their purchases in petrol lamps, candles and battery charging. Also people who have a lower-income can use this system, as it is cheaper for charging. This solar lantern system has high potential and has been identified as the solution for lighting in remote villages. Moreover, it contributes to tackle climate change in a positive way.
To fully charge the lanterns takes 5 to 6 hours and the beneficiaries will need to pay 500 Riels ($0.12cts). After being charged, the lanterns will work for more than 5 days and less than 10 days, depending on the length of use every day.
By Hun Sarith, Project Officer in Stung Treng