This partnership aims to provide access to solar energy solutions for 3,000 poor and remote off-grid households in 60 villages in Vanuatu, enabling them to shift from uneconomical and unsustainable fuels (kerosene, diesel and wood) to modern, efficient, renewable local energy sources. In doing so, it aims to contribute to women’s empowerment through reduced work care burden and increased household income.
Households in Vanuatu are scattered across various islands and many villages lack access to electricity, relying on expensive fossil fuels to support basic household needs. Rural villagers, particularly women, spend significant time hand-processing staple food crops which is both labour-intensive and time-consuming.
Village Infrastructure Angels delivers solar-powered mills and innovative pay-as-you-go home power stations to rural villages across Vanuatu. Solar-powered mills reduce the time needed to process food and eliminate the need to travel long distances to access agro-processing facilities, saving time for other activities. Domestic solar power products reduce reliance on costly fuels and can be used for lighting, charging phones and other low-power consumer appliances. These assets are leased to villagers for one to five years with ownership transferring at the end of the lease period. DFAT provides critical co-investment, advocacy support and access to local networks and technical assistance.
This partnership creates shared value by reconceiving products and markets through providing solar electricity services for 3,000 households in 60 villages in Vanuatu. In addition to the cost and environmental benefits for consumers, VIA expands its electricity supply business in Vanuatu, building market share and earning income from electricity user fees. The initiative also supports the creation of 100 micro-entrepreneurs to operate the solar mills.