The World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands provided support to a Mongolian program aimed at bringing solar power to the country’s nomadic herders. The project, called “Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access” (REAP), was funded by a US $3.5 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), a US $3.5 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a US $6.0 million grant from the Netherlands Government.
The REAP project supported Mongolia’s National 100,000 Solar Ger Electrification Program, which provided subsidized, portable solar home systems to herders. Through the project, fifty privately owned solar home system sales and service centers – partnered with a public network of village administrators – were established throughout Mongolia.
In addition to supplying affordable electricity to the herders, the program also intends to help the Mongolian government achieve its goal of rural electrification by 2020. To date, the program has supplied 100,146 solar home systems, and the demand for electricity is increasing.
The Mongolian herders with the new source of energy are enjoying their new quality of life, being able to do several things they couldn’t do before, ranging from watching television with their families and getting more work completed in the new hours of the day they can use.
The project was implemented between 2008 and 2012 with implementation support provided by the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE).
Solar energy can not only make life easier those in Mongolia, but also in the United States. More information on solar power can be found at Solaire Energy Systems.