IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization advancing technology for humanity, announced that IEEE Smart Village (ISV) has granted £1.2 million in new funds for selected sustainable energy projects with a potential life-changing impact on up to seven million people around the world. ISV, an IEEE Foundation Priority Initiative, is dedicated to promoting sustainable energy and access to educational and entrepreneurial opportunities in energy-impoverished locations around the world. The funded projects are in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, India, and Papua New Guinea.
The projects leverage technology to better the lives of the communities where the systems are located. This year’s projects include AC and DC solar powered micro-grids; a next generation portable battery kit that will provide lighting for extremely remote homes; local computer servers and an intra-net delivery system to enable a low-cost curriculum in the local schools; long range Wi-Fi that will allow some locations to tap into the World Wide Web; and one project will include a portable food press that will allow the villagers to process food for better year-round nutrition and be an income source for their families.
Previously funded ISV’s projects have directly impacted more than 70,000 people and have proven ISV’s business model, which is based on community empowerment, education, and business ownership. Using the base of IEEE global volunteers, the ISV program brings together experienced engineers, educators, volunteers, and donors to provide initial funding to launch, sustain, and develop clean energy and to power advanced education systems. The goal is to empower communities to meet their own long-term needs. ISV is scaling its efforts to bring basic electrical services that help enable transformational opportunities and support community wellbeing – from homes to schools to clinics to businesses – such efforts are expected to benefit more than 50 million people by 2025.
“All over the world, hundreds of millions of people in remote villages lack basic access to electricity,” said Ray Larsen, co-chair of the ISV program. “IEEE Smart Village aims to make a big impact. Clean, reliable electricity in a sustainable, scalable business model is key to enabling a better quality of life. Partnerships with major organizations such as Rotary are being developed to bring a full range of basic sustainable business benefits. We aim to make a major contribution to the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to eliminate the worst of world poverty by 2030.”