Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

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Sustainably Raising Crops Through Solar Powered Drip Irrigation



Headquarters Washington, DC, USA
Established 1990
Impact Areas Worldwide
Type Non-profit
Energy Sectors
Business Model Types
Staff Size 16
Annual Budget $5,000,000
Major Funders Many
Awards 2008: Tech Museum of Innovation Award
2007: Energy Globe Award – Benin
2006: World Bank Development Marketplace
2005: Chevron Conservation Award
2002: Tech Museum of Innovation Award
1998: Global Green USA Green Cross Millennium Award


The Solar Electric Light Fund is a Washington, DC based nonprofit whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions in developing countries to assist rural communities with economic, education, health and agricultural development. Its “Whole Village” development model takes an innovative approach in using integrated solar systems to improve the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in energy poverty throughout the world. Since 1990, SELF has completed over projects in more than 20 countries, pioneering unique applications of solar power for drip irrigation in Benin, telemedicine in the Amazon rainforest, vaccine refrigeration in Rwanda, online learning in South Africa, and microenterprise development in Nigeria.


Energy Products/Services

  • Solar PV systems and products powered by them

Target Market

  • Communities living in remote locations with no access to traditional sources of electricity.


Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

Revenue Streams

  • Grants and donations

Value Proposition

  • SELF’s work is based on three principles:
    • SELF DETERMINATION: Solar projects are determined by the people in rural communities as full participants, acting on their own behalf.
    • SELF HELP: Solar systems are purchased by the communities through a variety of financing mechanisms.
    • SELF RELIANCE: Communities fully participate in all project phases including design, implementation, operation and maintenance.

Problem Addressed

  • Energy Poverty: 1.6 billion people around the world lack access to electricity and the role it can
    play in improving health, education, agriculture and economic development initiatives.

More Resources

Online Resources

Contact Information

Solar Electric Light Fund
1612 K Street, NW Suite 402
Washington, DC 20006

( +1 202-234-7265