Community solutions

Palestine

In Palestine, the Israeli occupation means many people live with extreme energy scarcity. Some homes in Gaza receive only 3-4 hours of grid electricity a day. Since 2003, PENGON has been running renewable energy projects to build the capacity of local people to manage their own clean energy sources, such as solar panels.

Energy scarcity and injustice is felt most by women, who typically bear the double burden of domestic and agricultural work. Having access to community-owned energy sources allows them to meet basic household needs and make a living. Solar energy helps Bedouin women in the Jordan Valley to produce sheep's milk, which they sell locally.

Photograph: Bangladesh © Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International

(Below) Lavagornya school in Cremzan, Palestine © PENGON/Friends of the Earth Palestine

A school playground, with young children in blue uniform walking straight in a line. Teachers are present. The photo is taken from the back.

Bangladesh

Three women in bright saris standing against a fence with big smiles

The largest coastal mangrove forest in the world is the Sundarbans forest. It has sustained local communities for generations, but now it is under threat from the coal-based Rampal power plant.

In the same area of the Sundarbans where Rampal will damage the ecosystem and people’s livelihoods, community-based renewable energy is thriving

(Photographs above and below) Bangladesh © Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International

Smiling children behind desk in Bangladeshi school with light up lanterns

We somehow created a social energy grid. As the village is not electrified, children everyday bring their batteries and lamps to school and charge them on our central solar system. They go home with full batteries and bring light and energy to their families.

Md. Maksudur Rahman, BEDS

Sarawak

In 2017, the Sungai Buri community formed a residents’ association and set up an agroecology project in response to logging and expansion of oil palm plantations. All the tree species involved are indigenous.

Photographs below: Sarawak © Amelia Collins/Friends of the Earth International

Women, happy, preparing fruit together in a wooden hut

Croatia

Pecka is a mountain village that became a solar energy community following a groundbreaking crowdfunding scheme by Friends of the Earth Europe.

Five hundred supporters donated a total of €14,000 to the Light of Hope campaign, which brought solar thermal collectors for hot water and photovoltaic panels for power generation to the mountain village of Pecka where homes had previously had no electricity.

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