Solar Power CEO Refuses to Turn On His Lights - Quetsol’s TURN ON LIVES Crowdfunding Campaign
(GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA) On February 18th, 2013, Juanish Rodriguez, founder of the Guatemalan solar company Quetsol, will be turning his lights off until he can turn lights on for millions in his home country.
Via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, Quetsol is seeking the $50,000 it needs to launch a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar power kit. The new model bridges the gap between the high price of solar technology and the severe energy needs of Guatemala’s poorest rural communities without access to electricity.
To get a sense of this technology’s potential, do the following: Imagine a woman living in an indigenous community three hours by foot from an electrical grid. She wants power in her home so that her children can read and she can spend time with her family at night without inhaling kerosene fumes. She has heard that solar power can reach anywhere—she cannot access electrical lines—but cannot scrape together the upfront cost to purchase solar technology when her family can barely afford candles.
Now imagine a scenario in which Juanita gets solar power into her home right away without needing to pool together her next six month’s savings. From each month’s earnings, she decides how much to contribute to her electricity and buys it only as she needs it. Imagine a solar company that allows Juanita to invest in a permanent energy solution at the rate that she can afford because they believe income grows after a home has electricity.
This last scenario is the one Mr. Rodriguez will be unplugging his own lights to create. The PAYG model is the innovation that the solar industry has been lacking when it comes to reaching the world’s poorest communities. It makes solar a realistic energy source for the 2.6 million Juanitas in Guatemala, and 1.6 billion throughout the world, who rely on candles and kerosene to light their homes. By eliminating the high upfront cost that prevents so many people from purchasing solar, PAYG opens up renewable energy to thousands more. And by providing an easy financing option—pay-when-you-can vs. pay-on-this-date—it will get solar into more people’s hands faster.
In fact, Quetsol expects to see sales increase by 1700%, distributing 100,000 kits and reaching over 505,000 people in the next five years. While Quetsol’s current solar kits save clients 20% of their previous candle and kerosene costs, the new model elevates this to 44% savings. The most promising aspect, though, is that a Pay-for-Service model like this one can be as easily replicated as telecommunication companies throughout the world have done.
So, one last scenario to imagine: A new generation of utility companies that support rural development and protect the environment at the same time.
The first prototype is currently being tested, but Indiegogo is the essential next step. Contributors will be able to directly sponsor a family if the goal is reached. Starting on minute one of the campaign, Mr. Rodriguez will sit in a pitch-black room and refuse to turn on his lights until their goal is reached. Visit Quetsol’s website and Indiegogo page to help them turn on the lights for Juan and, more importantly, for thousands of Guatemalans.
WHAT: QUETSOL’S TURNING LIVES ON ACROSS GUATEMALA Crowdfunding Campaign
WHEN: February 18, 2013
- Founder and CEO of Guatemalan solar power company Quetsol to sit in a dark room until crowdfunding goal is reached via Indiegogo
- Campaign goal will allow Quetsol to offer groundbreaking Pay-As-You-Go solar technology to Guatemala’s poorest communities that lack electricity
- Quetsol intends to provide solar power kits to over 505,000 people in five years and replicate their technology worldwide
For more information:
Call Quetsol: 502-2315-2800
- www.quetsol.com, and Indiegogo.com/Quetsolturnliveson
- Juan at Unreasonable Institute: http://vimeo.com/47107967