150 photovoltaic panels installed in Santa Marta, a community in Rio de Janeiro

For just over a year, Insolar was in the Santa Marta community, in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, developing the #makethefu projectture sponsored by Shell. The social business, led by Henrique Drumond, had the support of Sitawi Financeira do Bem for the development of the pilot project that enabled the expansion of the initiative and, consequently, the incentive of the multinational.

Community spaces such as nurseries, churches, residents' association, samba school court, CRAS (Social Assistance Reference Center), Plano Inclinado stations, among other locations chosen by residents, had solar panels installed, reducing expenses with electricity bills and expanding access to clean energy. In all, more than 30 points benefited, including ten reflectors solar emergency kits placed at strategic locations in the community.

When asked about the impact of the project on the community, Henrique talks about the feeling of prosperity experienced during the project and that is expected for the coming years.

“What comes to mind is the joy felt by Adriana, president of Creche Mundo Infantil, when she received her first zero energy bill; the students' party Spanta Music School inaugurating the new slab of the Residents' Association; the easter service celebrated by Pastor Valdecir at Praça Corumbá, illuminated during a blackout by the emergency reflector installed by the Insolar Ambassadors”, he pointed out.

Energy is the main driver of climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. However, according to the United Nations, renewable energy currently represents only 15% of the global energy pool. The community initiative developed in Santa Marta dialogues with 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this sense, it especially strengthens commitment number seven, which consists of ensuring reliable, sustainable, modern and affordable access to energy for all.

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The project also included the training of local labor to provide support and continuity to the new potential market in Santa Marta and in other regions of the city. Forty students, 35 of whom live in Santa Marta and 5 professionals from other communities, qualified in electrical and solar installations and will be able to practice their trade inside and outside the community.

On May 11, the closing ceremony of the #makethefuture project took place in Santa Marta. The partner organizations were honored and the residents trained by the project received their certificates of completion of the courses in Electrical Installations, NR 10 – Regulatory Standard on Safety in Electricity Installations and Services, NR 35 – Work at Heights, Photovoltaic Installations and Practical Experiences in Installations in Santa Marta.

?When we are asked the number of students trained by the project in Santa Marta, the answer is 40. But what comes to mind are the stories of life and resilience of each student who participated in the course with us”, he said. Henrique Drumond, founder of Insolar.

The success of the initiative was due to the participation and adherence of the local population that worked together with Insolar and other partner organizations. Jorge Alexandre Firmino, a resident of Santa Marta who held the training courses, commented that the way the initiative was conducted ensured its success in the community.

“Integrating the residents in the construction of the project was fundamental for the community's adherence. Insolar did not arrive with a ready-made solution, but was willing to listen and encourage the participation of the population from the beginning”, declared Firmino.

In all, 259 interviews were conducted with residents to decide where to install the solar panels. The clean energy that will be generated by the 150 photovoltaic panels installed is equivalent to 185,000 days of light!

About Insolar

THE insolate is a social business dedicated to promoting and democratizing access to solar energy in Brazil. Learn more and follow the networks: https://www.facebook.com/brasilinsolar/

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