News 2013

From Myanmar to Uganda: Sunlabob’s 2013 in pictures

2013 was a busy year for Sunlabob: our team worked in new geographies around the world, we engaged with new customers and most importantly, Sunlabob provided renewable energy and clean water to more rural, remote communities.

This year’s work was diverse, ranging from solar energy training in the far reaches of the Kiribati islands to projects closer to home like the solar mini-grid opening access to electricity to the 500 residents of Ban Houaypha, a remote, off-grid village in Luang Prabang Province, Laos.

Here is a selection of photos providing a snapshot of a few places Sunlabob was throughout 2013.

Read more: From Myanmar to Uganda: Sunlabob’s 2013 in pictures

Lao PDR’s first solar panel production facility launched by Sunlabob

At its headquarters in Vientiane, Sunlabob this week announced that it has established the capability to produce solar photovoltaic modules to generate electricity for use throughout Lao PDR.

“Until now, solar power projects in Lao PDR have had to rely completely on imported products from foreign manufacturers, oftentimes slowing the development process and increasing costs,” said Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, which has installed solar energy throughout the country since 2000. “The new manufacturing competence will allow Sunlabob to assemble solar panels on demand that can be customized to each customer’s needs.”

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been used in Lao PDR for many years to provide electricity to rural households, schools and health stations, as well as for practical functions such as water pumping and purification, communications and medicine storage.

Read more: Lao PDR’s first solar panel production facility launched by Sunlabob

PHOTO TOUR: Visiting solar lantern rental systems in southern Lao PDR

A team of Sunlabob engineers and community trainers recently traveled to Savannakhet Province in southern Lao PDR for a check-up visit to six remote, off-grid villages utilizing Solar Lantern Rental Systems (SLRS) originally established in 2011.

The six solar-powered charging stations, consisting of 300 lanterns, were installed in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation as an affordable, safer alternative to traditional kerosene lamps that create jobs and revenue within the poor communities.

More than 1000 villagers have access to the rental systems, primarily using the lanterns for cooking, working, studying and charging mobile phones.

Before the SLRSs were established in 2011, villagers fully relied on inadequate and unhealthy forms of lighting solutions including burning kerosene, candles, wood and non-reusable battery torches.

Read more: PHOTO TOUR: Visiting solar lantern rental systems in southern Lao PDR

Solar-equipped environmental education vehicles launched in Laos

This week, two vehicles featuring solar-powered electronics and multimedia systems designed and installed by Sunlabob were unveiled by the Lao PDR’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

A 14-seat bus and eight-meter box truck will tour throughout Lao PDR as tools to increase knowledge about environmental protection, biodiversity and climate change as part of the Lao-German Cooperation Project ProCEEd (Promotion of Climate-related Environmental Education). The solar photovoltaic systems installed on the rooftops of each vehicle provide 4-5 hours of energy for the electronics systems.

Read more: Solar-equipped environmental education vehicles launched in Laos

Sunlabob’s rural energy and water solutions showcased at AidEx 2013

Logo-AidEx

This week, Sunlabob is a featured exhibitor at AidEx 2013, an international humanitarian and development aid event held annually in Brussels, Belgium that brings together more than 2,000 professionals from government, the commercial sector and civil society.

The company is presenting, in particular, its portable renewable energy and water solutions including solar-powered lanterns and solar home systems used for off-grid lighting and cell phone charging, as well as solar-powered water pumping and purification technologies that are ideal for accessing clean water in rural areas.

Read more: Sunlabob’s rural energy and water solutions showcased at AidEx 2013

Sunlabob Photo Tour: Electrifying Sierra Leone with Solar

Since being awarded two contracts earlier this year by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), our engineers have been hard at work designing and installing 14 solar PV power plants throughout rural areas of Sierra Leone, a country with an electrification rate of less than 10 percent.

In addition to the design and installation work, the Sunlabob team is providing hands-on local training with community members to ensure proper usage and maintenance and enable longevity of the solar systems, technically and socially.

The solar PV projects – twelve 5 kWp plants and one 16 kWp plant – are focused on education and training, ranging from industrial growth centers to an engineering college.

Read more: Sunlabob Photo Tour: Electrifying Sierra Leone with Solar

Solar Power Mini-Grid Opens Energy Access to Rural Laos

Sunlabob partners to deliver reliable, affordable electricity to 500 residents of remote Lao village

Sunlabob and Fondation Energies pour le Monde this week announced the completion of a solar-powered mini-grid that is now delivering reliable, affordable electricity to nearly 500 people in a remote village in Luang Prabang Province, Laos.

Ban Houaypha, a village of 83 households, has limited job opportunities, low income levels, inadequate education and health services and no short-term outlook to receive electricity from the national electricity grid. The average household income is less than $2.50 a day.

The 6.5 kWp solar plant will distribute electricity through a decentralized village grid to households, a community center and five street lights. The Ban Houaypha mini-grid is the first step within the Fondation’s long-term rural electrification strategy in Laos that aims to implement 15 solar village grids to provide energy access to at least 10,000 rural Laotians and contribute to the Lao Government’s target of 90% electrification by 2020.

Read more: Solar Power Mini-Grid Opens Energy Access to Rural Laos

Alliance for Rural Electrification recognizes Sunlabob in ‘Best Practices’ report

2013-10-ARE Best Practises-1 2013-10-ARE Best Practises-2 2013-10-ARE Best Practises-3 2013-10-ARE Best Practises-4

International report highlights Sunlabob solar PV village mini-grid in rural Laos

Sunlabob’s experience with renewable energy village mini-grids was this week included in a publication by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) that highlights successful models for off-grid energy access in developing regions around the world.

The publication, “Best Practices: What renewable energies can achieve in developing and emerging markets,” highlights Sunlabob’s work to develop a solar PV mini-grid that provides reliable, affordable electricity to Ban Phakeo, a rural community of approximately 100 households in Luang Prabang Province, Laos.

Sunlabob’s case study can be viewed here.

“Providing clean energy in poor, rural areas in a way that is sustainable – technically, economically and socially – is a challenge,” said Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO of Sunlabob. “Compiling successful approaches to rural electrification from around the world, as the Alliance has done, can be an important tool for energy decision-makers to draw from as off-grid renewable energy grows globally.”

Read more: Alliance for Rural Electrification recognizes Sunlabob in ‘Best Practices’ report

CEO addresses ASEAN energy community about role of off-grid renewables in regional electrification

Presentation focuses on off-grid energy access as key element of holistic, long-term rural development

2013-09-ASEAN

Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, this week spoke at the annual gathering of Southeast Asia’s energy community in Bali, Indonesia. Addressing the ASEAN Energy Business Forum, which included members of business, academia and government, Schroeter highlighted off-grid electrification as an important driver of rural development in the region.

Citing that nearly 150 million people in the ASEAN region still live without access to electricity, Schroeter pointed specifically to decentralized mini-grids as a viable solution for providing robust and reliable electricity to rural communities without national grid access.

Read more: CEO addresses ASEAN energy community about role of off-grid renewables in regional electrification

Myanmar Power Summit turns to Sunlabob for decentralized renewable energy insight

Evan Scandling addresses Myanmar’s electricity sector stakeholders about role of off-grid renewable energy solutions in rural electrification strategy

2013-09-MPS opening

This week, Evan Scandling, Head of Communications, presented at the Myanmar Power Summit in Yangon, Myanmar to discuss opportunities and challenges for decentralized renewable energy solutions within the country’s rural electrification planning.

Scandling emphasized that off-grid, community-level renewable energy can play a critical role within the national energy strategy of the country where about 75 percent of the population can’t access the central electricity grid.

“Decentralized renewable energy can be a significant catalyst of economic and social development for the rural communities left off the grid,” said Scandling during the Summit, which was co-hosted by the Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power.

Read more: Myanmar Power Summit turns to Sunlabob for decentralized renewable energy insight

Sunlabob CEO joins CSR Asia Summit to discuss business models for engaging low-income markets

2013-09-CSRAsia

Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, this week spoke at a leading conference focused on inclusive economic development and responsible growth in Asia.

Presenting at the CSR Asia Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Schroeter highlighted Sunlabob’s experience developing renewable energy micro-enterprises in rural, low-income communities throughout Laos and remote areas of Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Pacific region.

“Local inclusion and hands-on capacity-building is a core component of delivering clean energy and water to low-income communities effectively over the long-term,” said Schroeter who holds more than 15 years of experience developing business-based solutions for rural energy and water access.

Read more: Sunlabob CEO joins CSR Asia Summit to discuss business models for engaging low-income markets

Sunlabob expands renewable energy footprint in Kiribati islands with local solar PV trainings

Following major solar PV material supply contract, Sunlabob also hired to provide technical training and capacity building for local engineers

Kiribati-flag

Sunlabob today announced it has been awarded a contract to provide hands-on solar PV training for local engineers and technicians in Kiribati, one of the least-developed island states in the Pacific region. The trainings – funded by the European Development Fund and managed by the Government of the Republic of Kiribati – will include Sunlabob experts providing instruction for on- and off-grid solar PV installation, operation and maintenance techniques.

The project comes on the heels of Sunlabob winning a contract in Kiribati in early 2013 to supply solar PV and related equipment for a variety of decentralized solar energy installations, including more than two-thousand solar home systems, hundreds of small businesses, community centers and schools, as well as village mini-grids.

Read more: Sunlabob expands renewable energy footprint in Kiribati islands with local solar PV trainings

Sunlabob extends solar-powered clean water access at Lao college

Water supply expansion to aid growth of Northern Agriculture and Forestry College campus

This week, Sunlabob and supporting partners of the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College announced their efforts to boost the solar-powered domestic water supply that will facilitate the campus expansion.

Building upon Sunlabob’s previous work at NAFC in 2010 and 2011 – which included establishing the college’s water infrastructure and implementing solar-powered water pumping and purification technologies – the company will install additional solar power generation and extend water pipelines to ensure that two new dormitories, a school building and a ward house are adequately provided water resources.

The college students and staff use the overall water supply as a source of clean drinking water, domestic use and for the irrigation of farming of agriculture and livestock demonstration farms for practical teaching, learning and income generation.

Read more: Sunlabob extends solar-powered clean water access at Lao college

Opinion: How to avoid ‘band-aid’ solutions on expanding energy access

By Andy Schroeter, co-founder & CEO, Sunlabob Renewable Energy

2013-08-Opinion

The massive challenge of achieving universal access to energy recently received two major boosts that have raised the issue further on the international development agenda.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced in late June his Power Africa initiative, which pledged $7 billion to "double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa." Just two weeks later the World Bank released the Energy Sector Directions Paper, its latest policy plan for expanding energy access in underdeveloped regions.

Access to energy has long been a much-discussed topic within international aid and development circles, but thanks to big splashes like Power Africa and the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, many more are now likely aware that 1.2 billion people around the world still live without electricity.

Read more: Opinion: How to avoid ‘band-aid’ solutions on expanding energy access

Sunlabob COO featured speaker of World Economic Forum discussion on energy access in Myanmar

Simon Henschel addresses Young Global Leaders in webinar about role of decentralized renewable energy in expanding Myanmar’s electrification

YGL-logo

This week, COO Simon Henschel was the featured presenter of an Energy Access Initiative webinar hosted by the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders network to discuss avenues for reducing energy poverty in Myanmar.

Henschel highlighted how decentralized, community-level renewable energy can be an vital piece to national electrification planning in Myanmar, a country where only 1 in 4 residents has access to electricity.

“Decentralized renewable energy, particularly in rural communities, can play a major role – economically, socially and environmentally – in the quickly evolving energy landscape of Myanmar,” said Henschel, who spoke at the webinar as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. “With the right mix of policies from the Myanmar government and an encouraging business environment for public-private partnerships, renewable energy can make a real impact in the country.”

Read more: Sunlabob COO featured speaker of World Economic Forum discussion on energy access in Myanmar

Part Two: Visiting rural Lao clean energy and water projects (PHOTOS)

A small group of our staff recently travelled across seven Lao provinces to visit several existing Sunlabob projects, which ranged from a solar PV village grid powering the small, off-grid community of Ban Phakeo to the industrial-scale decentralized wastewater treatment facility that Sunlabob established at the campus facilities of Theun Hinbun Power Company, one of the largest hydropower producers in Laos.

The takeaway: Sunlabob offers a wide variety of renewable energy-based solutions and has the ability to successfully implement them within many different contexts for a diversity of customers and beneficiaries.

This is the second installment of photos, which like our initial slideshow, provides a glimpse of the many approaches and solutions that Sunlabob employs to enable access to clean energy and water:

1. Solar-powered refrigeration and cooling at health centers in Ban Ta Oy, Salavan Province, Laos

Partners: Asian Development Bank, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR

In 2012-13, Sunlabob partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to supply, install and provide community training for 44 solar-powered refrigeration and cooling systems across five provinces of southern Laos. We had the opportunity to see the technology in action, effectively storing an array of medications and vaccinations that the 300 person village of Ta Oy previously had to have delivered by truck on a regular basis.

Our team was fortunate enough to speak at length with Mr. Khammany, the one medical professional in the community. He told us that he’s seen lower rates of illness and better general overall health since the community gained instant access to many critical medicines and vaccines. For more information about Sunlabob’s solar refrigeration and cooling work with ADB, please read here.

Read more: Part Two: Visiting rural Lao clean energy and water projects (PHOTOS)

Plan International turns to Sunlabob to light up Bokeo province

Sunlabob to implement 300 lanterns through Solar Lantern Rental System in four remote Lao villages

2011-11-Solar lantern-Bokeo-4

This week Sunlabob announced a partnership with the non-profit organization Plan International to launch Solar Lantern Rental Systems (SLRS) with 300 lanterns in four villages of Bokeo Province, a remote, poor area of northwest Laos. The lanterns will be used in Vang Lek, Phouviengxai, Kha Nong and La Ang Tai – all villages with low income levels, poor hygiene and health standards and limited education opportunities.

Sunlabob is supplying, designing and installing the solar lantern systems as well as providing hands-on technical and bookkeeping training for the “pay-as-you-go” rental operational model. The SLRS model employs local Village Technicians (VTs) to maintain and manage the micro-enterprise in a self-sustaining manner.

In alignment with Plan International’s objective of improving the lives, health and education of children, the solar-charged lanterns will replace kerosene lanterns as a cleaner, safer, more affordable and more robust source of lighting for the villagers.

Read more: Plan International turns to Sunlabob to light up Bokeo province

Sunlabob CEO delivers speeches at two leading solar industry forums

Presentations focus on increasing efficacy of public-private partnerships for rural electrification and identifying how off-grid energy can fit into long-term development planning

Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, this week spoke at two high-level conferences focused on the global solar power industry. His focus in both presentations tapped into Sunlabob’s extensive experience throughout the developing world, offering recommendations and details of how rural electrification programs can be improved.

On Monday, at the 3rd Symposium Small PV Applications in Ulm, Germany, Schroeter spoke to members of business, academic and government communities about how public-private partnerships for rural electrification can be utilized more effectively and with greater emphasis on long-term results.

Read more: Sunlabob CEO delivers speeches at two leading solar industry forums

Opinion: Off-grid renewable energy vital to Myanmar’s development

By Simon Henschel, COO, Sunlabob Renewable Energy, Ltd.

2013-06-Myanmar-thumb

When senior leaders from business, government, academia and civil society gathered last week in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar for the World Economic Forum on East Asia, the host country’s strategy for growth was at the center of discussion. One of the core questions was: how can a country that is changing so swiftly – economically, socially and politically – create “equitable and sustainable growth, employment creation and resource security?”

One indisputable piece of this puzzle is access to energy. As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated, “Sustainable energy is the ‘golden thread’ that connects economic growth, social equity, and a climate and environment that enables the world to thrive.”

Read more: Opinion: Off-grid renewable energy vital to Myanmar’s development

Critical role of rural renewable energy highlighted by Sunlabob during World Economic Forum dialogue in Myanmar

Sunlabob contributes to World Economic Forum “New Energy Architecture: Myanmar” white paper and participates in energy-focused roundtable during high-level conference

2013-06-Myanmar

This week, COO Simon Henschel is representing Sunlabob at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar joining 900 participants from 55 countries to discuss challenges and opportunities in Myanmar and the region.

Henschel is highlighting how and why rural, community-level renewable energy can be an integral piece to national electrification planning in Myanmar, a country where only 1 in 4 residents has access to electricity.

“Myanmar is in an opportune position given that the country is essentially developing its electrification strategy from the ground up,” said Henschel, attending the event as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. “Renewable energy, particularly in rural communities, can play a major role – economically, socially and environmentally – in the rapid transformation of Myanmar’s energy landscape.”

Read more: Critical role of rural renewable energy highlighted by Sunlabob during World Economic Forum...

Part One: A photo tour of Sunlabob’s clean energy and water projects across seven Lao provinces

The Sunlabob team recently toured through much of Laos, crossing seven provinces to visit several existing projects, ranging from our solar-powered village grid in Ban Phakeo, Luang Prabang to our solar-powered water pumping and purification project providing clean water to nearly 4,000 people in Mahaxay District, Khammouane Province.

The photo tour provides a snapshot of the many types of renewable energy-based technologies we employ, as well as the diversity of clients we work with, which range from multilateral donor agencies and non-profit organizations, to multinational companies and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

The first of two slideshows, this initial set of photos features four projects, each showcasing different approaches and solutions:

1. Solar-powered village grid in Ban Phakeo, Luang Prabang Province, Laos

Partner: Fondation Energies pour le Monde (FONDEM)

2013-05-Slideshow-12013-05-Slideshow-22013-05-Slideshow-3

In 2008, French non-government organization Fondation Energies pour le Monde funded Sunlabob’s design and construction of the solar-powered mini-grid system for Ban Phakeo, an off-grid village of approximately 100 households isolated from the main roads and entrenched in the mountains. We had the opportunity to visit with the Village Technician (VT) who was trained by Sunlabob to manage the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system. He earns a monthly income from a portion of the revenue generated by the fixed monthly electricity tariffs paid by the customers in the villages. More information about Ban Phakeo cam be found here.

Read more: Part One: A photo tour of Sunlabob’s clean energy and water projects across seven Lao provinces

Sunlabob concludes solar-powered health refrigeration installation across southern Laos

Through Asian Development Bank award, Sunlabob supplies, installs and provides local training for solar-powered cooling systems to benefit 4,000 villagers across three Lao provinces.

In partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos, Sunlabob announced this week the completion of the supply, installation and community training for eight solar-powered refrigeration systems. The systems will be used for safe storage of livestock vaccines and medical equipment in rural villages of southern Laos.

The eight solar-powered cooling sets – each of which includes one refrigerator and one freezer – will be provided to villages in the Sekong, Savanakhet and Salavanh provinces. The new access to refrigeration and cooling will benefit up to 4,000 people. Previously, the target villages weren’t able to safely and properly store important vaccines and critical medicines, which increased health risks for both livestock and humans. Further, each of the selected villages has limited healthcare and education opportunities as well as no access to the national electricity grid.

Read more: Sunlabob concludes solar-powered health refrigeration installation across southern Laos

Cambodia policymakers turn to Sunlabob rural energy efficiency expertise

Sunlabob CEO integral in development of Cambodia’s “National Policy, Strategy and Action Plan on Energy Efficiency”

Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter, as part of a group of international experts, recently delivered a policy and action plan to the Royal Government of Cambodia for implementation of a national energy efficiency strategy. On behalf of the EU Energy Initiative (EUEI), Schroeter and the group presented a strategy and recommendations focused on five priority sectors to create the most impactful energy efficiency results: industry, buildings, end-user products, rural electricity supply and improved use of biomass.

“The lack of an integrated national grid, the high cost of imported diesel fuel, and the rising demand for power have made electricity in Cambodia among the costliest in the world,” said Schroeter, whose focus was determining energy efficiency opportunities for rural electricity generation and distribution.

Read more: Cambodia policymakers turn to Sunlabob rural energy efficiency expertise

Sunlabob tapped for energy efficiency study of Lao Tobacco factory

Study to determine energy savings potential and green power feasibility of Vientiane facilities

2013-04-Tobacco

Sunlabob this week signed a contract with Lao Tobacco Limited to conduct a pre-feasibility study that will identify the energy savings potential of the company’s factory in Vientiane, as well as determine the viability of on-site renewable energy generation. The Lao Tobacco facilities have been selected by its parent company Imperial Tobacco Group – the world’s fourth largest cigarette manufacturer with more than 50 factories worldwide – to become a showcase site for responsible, energy efficient and sustainable tobacco production processes worldwide. Sunlabob, as the local energy efficiency expert, has been selected to be the partner for the ground-setting study for improved production processes.

Read more: Sunlabob tapped for energy efficiency study of Lao Tobacco factory

Sunlabob to provide Kiribati outer islands with solar energy supplies

Sunlabob to supply solar PV materials for off-grid electrification of schools, homes, businesses community centers

Kiribati-flag

VIENTIANE, LAOS (April 8, 2013) – Sunlabob today announced it has been awarded a contract for the supply of solar PV equipment to be used in off-grid areas of Kiribati, one of the least-developed island states in the Pacific region. The installations – funded by the European Development Fund and managed by the Government of the Republic of Kiribati – will enable a reliable electricity supply in training facilities, schools, community centers, small businesses and homes throughout the small-island nation that is highly dependent on petroleum imports for power generation.

“Empowering off-grid areas with renewable energy not only enables dependable and affordable electricity, but also paves a path toward social and economic development for the people of Kiribati,” said Andy Schroeter, founder and CEO, Sunlabob, which has also recently completed off-grid solar PV projects in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

Read more: Sunlabob to provide Kiribati outer islands with solar energy supplies

Sunlabob CEO presents at Myanmar rural electrification policy forum

Discussion highlights Sunlabob’s experience developing mini-grids in off-grid, rural areas and applications for Myanmar

Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, this week spoke at a high-level rural electrification workshop focused on best practices and policy recommendations for the development of rural energy in Myanmar.

Hosted jointly by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy, the forum gathered energy and international development experts from the private and public sectors to identify policy, business and technology approaches that have been most effective in the ASEAN region and how those elements can be applied to Myanmar, a country where only 25 percent of residents have access to electricity.

“Myanmar can benefit from the lessons learned from approaches of rural electrification taken in recent years by its neighboring countries,” said Schroeter who holds more than 15 years of experience with rural energy in the developing world. “As is the case with Laos, Myanmar holds vast renewable energy resources that can be tapped into to enable access to clean, safe, reliable electricity for the more than 40 million people living without power in the country.”

Read more: Sunlabob CEO presents at Myanmar rural electrification policy forum

Sunlabob CEO joins in signing of ‘Freiburg Call to Action’ at 2nd International Convention of Environmental Laureates

Logo-EEF

Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO of Sunlabob, participated this week in the 2nd International Convention of Environmental Laureates held in Freiburg, Germany.

Organized by the European Environment Foundation, the convention gathered more than 80 environmental thought leaders, business executives and academics from 45 nations to discuss new paths and approaches to climate protection, energy efficiency and sustainable and energy efficient products and technologies.

Read more: Sunlabob CEO joins in signing of ‘Freiburg Call to Action’ at 2nd International Convention of...

Opinion: Off-grid electrification - a key to Myanmar’s promising growth

2013-03-Off-grid

By Andy Schroeter, Co-founder & CEO, Sunlabob Renewable Energy, Ltd.

Throughout his promotion of the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said several times that “energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability.”

The sentiments of the secretary-general’s declaration are particularly fitting for the development of Myanmar, Asia’s most talked-about, exciting new market. Given its political and economic reforms, this country of more than 60 million people is poised for substantial progress in the coming years – but not without a major increase in its electrification rate.

Read more: Opinion: Off-grid electrification - a key to Myanmar’s promising growth

Nam Theun 2 Power Company turns to Sunlabob for power back-up of rural telecommunications station

Sunlabob engineers recently completed the supply, installation and commissioning of an AC mains battery charger and controller system at an optical repeater station of the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Savannakhet province in southern Laos. The installation will provide 5.4kW of back-up energy capacity for the solar-powered telecommunications equipment, particularly in times of low solar energy availability at the station.

Nam Theun 2, located on the Nam Theun River, is the largest hydropower dam to-date in Laos, enabling the country to export 995 MW of electricity to Thailand, while also supplying 75 MW of electricity capacity domestically.

Read more: Nam Theun 2 Power Company turns to Sunlabob for power back-up of rural telecommunications station

Sunlabob CEO speaks at UN “Expert Group Meeting” to discuss improving affordability of Asia-Pacific region’s sustainable energy options

Logo-UNESCAP

Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO of Sunlabob, this week participated in an Expert Group Meeting hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) to help identify and adapt successful models for increasing the affordability of sustainable energy and alternate housing materials in the Asia-Pacific region. Schroeter joined other energy and international development experts from the private and public sectors and academic community to discuss which policy, business and technology approaches have been most effective and can be replicated elsewhere throughout the region.

Read more: Sunlabob CEO speaks at UN “Expert Group Meeting” to discuss improving affordability of...

Lao-German cooperation to launch solar-powered Environmental Education Bus

Sunlabob partners with Lao PDR and German governments to increase environment, climate change and biodiversity education

GIZ-logo

Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a Laos-based social enterprise specializing in off-grid renewable energy and clean water access, announced its partnership with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German development agency and the Government of Lao PDR to build and deploy an education-focused bus featuring solar power. The bus will be used throughout Lao as a tool to increase knowledge about environmental protection, biodiversity and climate change.

The Lao-German cooperation project Promotion of Climate-related Environmental Education (ProCEEd), will tour the Environmental Education Bus through rural Lao provinces to conduct education and awareness sessions. The bus, featuring 1.45 kW of roof-mounted solar panels, will include a 32” television inside and a 4.3m (diagonal) projection screen on the outside of the bus to be used for displaying educational films and materials during community presentations.

Read more: Lao-German cooperation to launch solar-powered Environmental Education Bus

Sunlabob to electrify Sierra Leone with 13 off-grid solar PV projects

In partnership with UNIDO, Sunlabob enables economic and social development with solar PV electrification of growth centers, universities and training facilities

2013-02-Sierra Leone

Sunlabob today announced it has been awarded two contracts for the design, supply, installation and local training for 13 turn-key solar PV power plants in off-grid areas of Sierra Leone. The installations – funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) – will enable a reliable electricity supply in universities, training facilities and community centers to facilitate local enterprise development through a variety of uses, ranging from agricultural and industrial training to improved internet access.

“Providing off-grid areas with renewable energy not only enables dependable and affordable electricity, but also opens the door to positive, long-term social and economic development,” said Andy Schroeter, founder and CEO, Sunlabob. “The efforts from UNIDO to electrify through decentralized solar PV are a prime example of how public-private partnerships of this nature squarely address objectives such as better education, increased job opportunities and greater communications access.”

Read more: Sunlabob to electrify Sierra Leone with 13 off-grid solar PV projects

Solar energy partnership enables livestock vaccine storage in rural Laos

Sunlabob partners with Asian Development Bank to deliver eight solar-powered cooling systems, benefitting 4,000 villagers across three Lao provinces

2013-02-Fridge

Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a social enterprise specializing in renewable energy and clean water access projects in developing regions of the world, today announced the launch of a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos to supply, install and provide community training for eight solar-powered refrigeration systems that will be used to safely store livestock vaccines and medical equipment in rural villages of Laos.

The eight solar-powered cooling sets – each of which includes one refrigerator and one freezer – will be provided to villages in the Sekong, Savanakhet and Salavanh provinces of southern Laos. Overall, the improved access to refrigeration will benefit up to 4,000 people.

Read more: Solar energy partnership enables livestock vaccine storage in rural Laos

Sunlabob joins international sustainable development and aid forum

2013-02-Development-forum

Sunlabob underscores central role of private sector in rural energy and clean water access

Sunlabob recently joined senior experts in the international relief and development sector at the Aid & International Development Forum in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss pathways for cross-Asia collaboration, share best practices and showcase technologies contributing to long-term sustainable development and disaster preparedness.

Alongside more than 1,000 attendees representing governments, aid agencies, NGOs and businesses, Sunlabob focused its discussions on the vital role of community-based off-grid renewable energy and clean water solutions within humanitarian aid and long-term rural development programs.

“Enabling access to energy is a central piece to rural development as well as in humanitarian aid situations,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob Renewable Energy co-founder and CEO. “Rural electrification can only be sustainable – socially and economically – if members of the community are involved and empowered from the beginning.”

Read more: Sunlabob joins international sustainable development and aid forum

Investment experts recognize Sunlabob as high impact enterprise

Accolade from investment and CSR experts reinforces company’s position as high impact growth-stage social enterprise

Logo-MaD

Sunlabob recently was recognized by the Make a Difference (MaD) Ventures Fellows program in Hong Kong for its innovative, high-impact business-based approach to sustainable development solutions. As a growth-stage social enterprise, Sunlabob joined 30 socially and environmentally impactful enterprises from around the world that are seeking potential investors and business partners to aid in the scale-up of their innovative socially-based businesses.

“As a socially-driven, commercially-rooted enterprise that delivers renewable energy and clean water to many of the poorest regions of the world, Sunlabob views the socially-responsible, impact investor community as an important contributor to our continued growth and increased global reach,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob Renewable Energy co-founder and CEO.

Read more: Investment experts recognize Sunlabob as high impact enterprise