News 2013

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.

Specific recommendations from Schroeter’s manuscript – “Closing the Gap: Creating More Efficient and Effective Public-Private Partnerships for Rural Electrification” – included a call for more focus by donor and development agencies on implementing high-quality energy technology to ensure long-lasting energy provision. He also called for more frequent use of community-based operational models – a core approach of Sunlabob – to help incentivize and empower local beneficiaries to maintain renewable energy systems in a self-sustaining manner.

“Access to energy is a game-changing ingredient in rural, developing areas – but only if it can be a long-lasting solution that continues delivering the benefits of electricity for several years,” said Schroeter, who stressed that public-private partnerships have proven to be the most viable and replicable approach to implementing rural energy.

Schroeter further discussed the need for holistic approaches to rural electrification on Thursday in Munich, Germany at Intersolar Europe 2013, the largest solar industry gathering in the world.

His presentation “Village Mini-Grids: Enabling Holistic, Long-Term Rural Development” highlighted the need for more linkage of energy services to wider rural development initiatives such as introducing new job skills and opening pathways for income-generating activities in rural communities.

“Energy access in poor, rural areas can only be maximized to its full potential – economically and socially – if other vital elements of development such as education, health and market creation also are delivered,” said Schroeter.

Founded in Laos in 2001, Schroeter and Sunlabob have since expanded internationally, delivering the company’s community-based approach to renewable energy and clean water access throughout Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands, Africa and India.

Schroeter’s full presentations can be viewed here:

Closing the Gap: Creating More Efficient and Effective Public-Private Partnerships for Rural Electrification
3rd Symposium Small PV Applications – 17 June, 2013

Village Mini-Grids: Enabling Holistic, Long-Term Rural Development
Intersolar Europe 2013 – 20 June, 2013