Rio favela, deprived of energy, benefits from solar panels on World Environment Day

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An NGO is bringing solar power to one of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest communities, providing a cheaper and sustainable source of energy for residents of the city’s Babilonia favela.

The project, led by Revolusolar, started in 2016 with two youth hostels in the favela. Brazil celebrates World Environment Day on Saturday.

In 2019, a public school received solar panels that saved around 975 euros per year on electricity bills, according to Valdinei Medina, spokesperson for Revolusolar.

The latest installation, a small solar panel factory, will help 36 local families.

Public and private services are not always accessible in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, with residents complaining about high electricity prices and poor networks.

Besides installing solar panels, the NGO also offers vocational training for residents to become electricians specializing in solar energy installations and educational material for children that teaches them the importance of renewable energy and environment.

Suzi Rocha lives in Babilonia and is part of the team that installed the last solar power plant and one of the 44 residents who have been trained by the program.

“The idea of ​​helping my community, taking action in my community and other communities in need attracts me a lot,” said Rocha.

She was already an electrical technician and saw the project as a way to specialize in solar energy and be better prepared for the market.

The Revolusar project has so far helped dozens of local families and employed several residents of the favela, according to spokesperson Medina.

“Our dream is that every resident here uses solar energy,” said Medina.


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