Energy-starved Rio favela enjoys solar panels on World Environment Day
An NGO brings solar power to one of the poorest communities in Rio de Janeiro and offers the residents of the city’s Favela Babilonia a cheaper and sustainable source of energy.
The project, led by Revolusolar, started in 2016 with two hostels in the favela. Brazil celebrates World Environment Day on Saturday.
In 2019, a public school received solar panels, which, according to Valdinei Medina, spokeswoman for Revolusolar, save around 975 euros in electricity costs every year.
The latest installation, a small solar system, will help 36 local families.
Public and private services are not always accessible in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, residents complain of high electricity prices and poor network services.
In addition to the installation of solar panels, the NGO also offers professional training for residents to become electricians specializing in solar energy systems and teaching material for children that teaches them the importance of renewable energies and the environment.
Suzi Rocha lives in Babilonia and is part of the crew who installed the latest solar system and one of 44 residents who have been trained through the program.
“The idea of helping my community act in need in my community and other communities appeals to me very much,” said Rocha.
She was already an electrical engineer and saw the project as an opportunity to specialize in the field of solar energy and to be better prepared for the market.
According to spokeswoman Medina, Revolusar’s project has so far helped dozens of local families and employed several residents in the favela.
“Our dream is that everyone here uses solar energy,” said Medina.