IDEAAS/The Sun Shines for All

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Overview

Bringing Sustainable Electric Power to Off-Grid Communities Through Solar Hpome System Rentals

 

Overview

Headquarters Porto Alegre, Brazil
Established 2001
Impact Areas Brazil
Type Hybrid
Energy Sectors
Business Model Types
Staff Size 8
Annual Budget $15,000
Major Funders Solar Development Group, Triodos Bank, Canopus Foundation, AVINA
Awards 1989: Ashoka Fellow 
2001
: CSTS Tech Award
2002: Schwab Foundation Outstanding Social Entrepreneur
2004: Fast Company Magazine Fast 50 Award, World Technology Network Social Entrepreneur Award 
2006
: Schwab/Lemelson Leapfrog Fund Award
2008: Schwab/Lemelson Leapfrog Fund Award 
2009:
IADB and GTZ Global Village Energy Partnership Award, ITAU Eco-change prize, FIES Itau Social Excellence Prize

ABOUT

IDEAAS develops solutions for making power available to off-grid and communities in Brazil and beyond.

 

 

Energy Products/Services

  • Solar Panels
  • LEDs
  • Portable Lanterns

Target Market

  • Off-grid communities in rural Brazil

 

IDEAAS/The Sun Shines for All

Revenue Streams

  • Sale of lamps
  • Rental of solar panel systems
  • Sale of other energy products
  • Consulting
  • Donations

Value Proposition

  • IDEAAS founder Fabio Rosa was initially responsible for reducing the cost of on-grid installations from $7,000 to $400 (by switching from a three-phase system to a less-powerful single phase system), which inspired the Brazilian government to fund grid connections to bring power to 80% of Brazilians.
  • Since 2003, Rosa has been working to deliver solar power to Brazilians too isolated for grid power.
  • Rosa runs off-grid solar organizations, the non-profit IDEAAS, which develops models for delivering low-cost off-grid power, and The Sun Shines for All, which implements those models by leasing solar power systems to off-grid communities in Rio Grande do Sul and Amazonia
  • IDEAAS is currently developing a center for learning on renewable energy and decentralized generation to create best practices for energy delivery management and spread its knowledge  to other organizations worldwide.

Problem Addressed

  • 25 million Brazilians have no access to electricity
  • While grid connections are increasing for those in less isolated areas, 20% of  Brazilians still live too far from the grid to make centralized power feasible

Where They Are Now

Impact to Date

  • The Sun Shines For All is further developing its rental program in Amazonia to increase market penetration by introducing a prepaid system, and is hoping to reach the other 50% of the population in existing communities and expand to more locations.
  • IDEAAS has recently created a center for renewable energy and decentralized power generation to collect and disseminate knowledge on appropriate business models for off-grid energy delivery, in the hope that this can add to the rapid technical improvements currently occurring in off-grid energy worldwide to bring power to millions more people.
  • IDEAAS is also organizing a Latin American Platform for Clean Energy Access for All, which is focused on spreading energy access for underserved populations within Latin America, and is linked to the 2012 UN Foundation International Year of Clean and Sustainable Energy Access for All.

Milestones

  • 1984: IDEAAS founder Fabio Rosa introduces low-cost grid connection model in southern Brazil
  • 1992: Rosa starts STA, a for-profit selling solar technologies for agricultural use
  • 2001: Rosa creates IDEAAS and The Sun Shines for All to bring solar technology to low-income population without grid access
  • 2003:  Initial solar systems implemented in forest community in Rio Grande do Sul
  • 2003: Brazilian government creates US$4 billion fund based on Rosa’s grid connection model to supply power to 80% of Brazilians
  • 2008: Solar program started with off-grid communities in Amazonia

Growth Plan

  • The Sun Shines For All is further developing its rental program in Amazonia to increase market penetration by introducing a prepaid system, and is hoping to reach the other 50% of the population in existing communities and expand to more locations.
  • IDEAAS has recently created a center for renewable energy and decentralized power generation to collect and disseminate knowledge on appropriate business models for off-grid energy delivery, in the hope that this can add to the rapid technical improvements currently occurring in off-grid energy worldwide to bring power to millions more people.
  • IDEAAS is also organizing a Latin American Platform for Clean Energy Access for All, which is focused on spreading energy access for underserved populations within Latin America, and is linked to the 2012 UN Foundation International Year of Clean and Sustainable Energy Access for All.

How They Deliver

Revenue & Affordability

  • TSSFA rents out its solar systems for a fixed fee of US$20/month, which covers all power use and maintenance.
  • In Rio Grande do Sul, 95% of users work for a forestry company which pays for their power.
  • In Amazonia, users have to pay for power themselves, and there have been some challenges with payment.
  • TSSFA also estimates that they are currently achieving only 50% market penetration due to affordability and are trying to increase this.
  • One finding was that customers with unstable incomes were afraid to sign up for a monthly payment they were not sure they could make, so TSSFA is now introducing a pre-pay system in which customers will be able to choose to have their power shut off for up to 2 months if they are unable to pay.

Distribution

  • TSSFA distributes energy in its two regions by renting solar panels to families and selling LED lights powered by the panels.
  • TSSFA maintains ownership of the panels and is responsible for all maintenance and battery replacement
  • TSSFA has a central office in each of its two regions, and a contracted community agent in each of its 28 communities trained to do maintenance and equipped with a stock of replacement parts.

Government Relations

  • Rosa’s innovations in improving grid connectivity in the 1980s inspired the Brazilian government to create a universal access policy and a government ‘Light for All’ program to try to provide 80% of Brazilians with grid access by 2015.
  • However, some laws have been hampering.  For example, TSSFA is allowed to rent out solar generators by the month, but not allowed to sell power by the kilowatt, as the government utility has a monopoly on power sales, even to customers to whom they are not providing power.

 

Financing

  • The Sun Shines for All (TSSFA) is a private company funded through its services and sales.
  • IDEAAS is financed by its for-profit sister companies TSSFA and STA, and by grants.

More Resources

Online Resources

Contact Information

IDEAAS
Rua Tenente Ary Tarragó No. 3350,
Room 402,
Jardim Itú Sabara
Porto Alegre Brazil

( +55 51-3222-8547
* info@ideaas.org.br