GRID Alternatives’ International Program addresses a critical energy access gap in communities in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Mexico by bringing solar power to schools, health clinics, homes, farms, orphanages, and small businesses. The solar systems we install provide residents with basic services, remove obstacles to sustainable growth, and create economic opportunities for families and communities. Our community-centric approach puts the needs of the community first and engages residents in the process from start to finish so the systems stay in productive use for the long-term.
Solar Energy Systems
We design and install photovoltaic systems that deliver clean, reliable energy to rural communities that lack access to the electrical grid and those in urban areas that face financial barriers to electricity access. Our stand-alone and our micro-grid systems provide residents with enough energy to power appliances that can increase local income generation, helping to maintain the systems overtime and reduce poverty. Our solar systems enable the use of energy efficient lighting, cell phone charging, water pumping, refrigeration, access to information and many small electrical appliances for home or business use.
GRID provides trainings for the communities we work with before, during and after a solar project. In addition, GRID hosts an annual solar conference in Nicaragua that brings together leaders from each community we work in to share experiences and strengthen leadership, while learning about best practices, conflict resolution and solar system maintenance.
GRID provides opportunities for residents from the countries we work in to gain hands-on solar installation experience, helping build their skills and resumes to gain employment in the rapidly growing solar industry.
GRID offers a classroom in the field that teaches international participants about sustainable development and energy access solutions. Travelers stay in-community and participate in an off-grid solar installation and related educational and cultural activities. Their trip fees provide financial support to make our projects possible.
Solar Lighting Program
Our Solar Lighting Program provides families living in rural communities with a reliable and safe lighting source through access to high-quality, affordable portable solar lamps. The lamps help replace more dangerous lighting alternatives and also charge cell phones. Solar lights significantly decrease household spending on burnable energy sources, saving money for other items like food, school uniforms and medicine. They also reduce the risk of injury, respiratory illness, and eyesight degradation resulting from trying to see by candlelight at night.
Sharing Best Practices
GRID’s community-centric approach to our projects is a model for sustainable renewable energy development in rural communities worldwide. We share our best practices in energy access work with practitioners, researchers, governments and funding agencies through individual consultation, papers, conferences, and project participation opportunities. Energy Access Forum, a volunteer-driven initiative of GRID Alternatives' International Program, hosts in-person events and webinars that create forums for practitioners, academics and students, and others to discuss current issues in the energy access space.