In 2009 PicoSol was requested by the Cambodian governor Bun Pheng to introduce computer education in his district Lvae Em. "Our district is near the capital Phnom Penh", was his suggestion, "and computer skills offer a job and a better life to our children". The district is situated on the other side of the Mekong river. It would take many years before electricity will be installed there. Without solar energy, a whole generation risks losing connection with the society.
Photo: Employees of PicoSol in discussion with local authorities in Cambodia in planning solar projects
PicoSol projects are self-sufficient. Solar panels don't only generate clean electricity, but the entire project will be sustainable by introducing an earning model in the project. PicoSol places solar panels on two schools and connect them with each other. In Cambodia solar energy in generated to provide computer classes. In the Netherlands solar energy is generated to fund maintenance of the installations. The Dutch school pays for the generated energy. Without this partnership, the solar panels and computers at the school in Cambodia would get into disuse after a few years. Such schools have no money for maintenance of the equipment. There is often too little money for materials, salaries of the staff and building maintenance.
u Dutch solar panels save for maintenance in Cambodia
SolarSchools offers a solution for maintenance costs of the solar installation in the developing country. Solar panels on a Dutch partnerschool provide the funds. The financial value of the energy generated by the Dutch solar panels is saved for maintenance. PicoSol has for this purpose a sufficient share in the solar roof of the Kubus as member of the cooperative Zon@School.
Before the question of Bun Pheng could be answered with computer classes on solar energy in his district, SolarSchools is developed step by step as a complete product, including equipment, education modules and organization model. It is tested at the Kubus (near the headquarters of PicoSol in Amersfoort) together with a Cambodian school in the village Srê Ampil, not far from Phnom Penh and near the Cambodian office of PicoSol.