26 Jan 2010

Simple lighting system introduced in Vanuatu

12:56 pm on 26 January 2010

A simple electric lighting system is being introduced in Vanuatu which could improve the lives of rural people.

The pico-solar system uses a solar panel and a combination LED light and in-built battery.

David Stein, from the Vanuatu Renewable Energy and Power Association, says its being sold for 50 to 60 US dollars, making it accessible to the three quarters of the population which currently relies on poor quality kerosene lighting.

He says the system should cover the whole country by the end of this year, and the 3,000 households which bought it in December are already seeing benefits.

"They have better lighting, their kids are able to study at night. They can have meetings, they can do simple activities like weave a mat in the night, which used to require the expensive kerosene."

Mr Stein says electric lighting is a stepping stone to economic development and he hopes it can be rolled out to other Pacific countries.