ALEXANDRE BORME’S INTERVIEW
Check out our video of the week featuring Alexandre Borme, Head of Energy Unit Asia Caribbean at Entrepreneurs du Monde. He shares his thoughts on the impact of renewable energies.
The problem that many countries face, countries that do not have already developed electricity grids, is how to provide electricity for the many families that are very far away in very remote rural areas. In Cambodia, 70% of the population lives in rural areas and so they can’t get electricity. The State is unable to extend the network to them. As a result, they live without electricity. You can imagine what it means to live without electricity, what impact it has on these populations.
In fact, what renewable energy has made possible is to be able to very easily install a solar panel, a battery and three bulbs, to be able to bring electricity very quickly, and even simpler, to distribute solar lamps to them. This is basically a panel and a lamp. Children can study later, men and women can work later in the fields. People can walk in the fields with a lamp and light the way to avoid being bitten by snakes. There are many advantages to having electricity, obviously, and to having light.
What makes it possible today is that prices are really affordable. In 20 years, we’ve gone from $4 per watt to 30 cents per watt, so we’ve divided the price of photovoltaics by more than 10. We believe that for this to be effective, it’s necessary to develop local entrepreneurs whose economic model consists of identifying needs, buying products, transporting them and selling them. In fact, my role is to support all these people.
The first impact we’re having is that we’re creating sustainable local stakeholders who are hiring people. The dreams of all these people we support has a direct impact and it gives you a sense of excitement.