Push play to hear about the Stanford team of social entrepreneurs who recently won the International Impact Investing Challenge with a project to expand the electrical grid in Indonesia to rural areas, a country with 18,000 islands.
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people are without electricity, 84% of whom live in remote rural areas. Electricity is an important factor in improving education, health and much more. Access to electricity is directly connected to public health, education, family income and the overall quality of life. World Bank estimates annual welfare benefits of electrification at $600 per household. REwiRE seeks to provide power not only for light but refrigerators, medical care, cell phones, computers, and more.
REwiRE will finance locally co-owned renewable energy mini-grids in rural communities of Indonesia where 67 million citizens (28% of the population) still lack access to electricity. 23% of electricity in Indonesia is currently produced from oil, an expensive, polluting and unhealthy technology.
Micro hydro proves to be the least expensive and is a proven technology through IBEKA for Indonesia. Only about $.05 a kilowatt hour, it is much cheaper than any other technology. As REwiRE expands into other geographic areas, the most cost-effective and available technology, whether micro hydro, solar, wind or biomass, will be developed according to local resources.
A nonprofit relying solely on grants, IBEKA has 20 years of experience providing electricity to rural Indonesia through micro hydro facilities that are locally owned, community co-operatives. REwiRE intends to develop and provide the sustainable business model as a holding company for localized joint ventures with IBEKA and to expand the successful use of micro hydro power in Indonesia starting on the island of Sumba. The for-profit holding company will develop funding through institutional and impact investments as well as grants.
The team is comprised of four grad students with impressive backgrounds in both education and business. Jonathan Strahl, Maria Riaz, Himini Pahdke and Kelcie Abraham. Click here to read their impressive bios. To get greater detail about the REwiRE project, click here for the Power Point presentation. Visit the International Impact Investing Challenge website and interview for information about the Challenge, and for continuing information about REwiRE, visit the REwiRE Worldwide website which is currently in process of development.