Regional Sustainable Energy Initiative
Moldova, Bosnia, Georgia
In Moldova, Bosnia and Georgia, the CWS Regional Sustainable Energy Initiative aims to reduce poverty in rural areas by implementing innovative and affordable technologies that are environmentally friendly, increase agricultural output and provide economic opportunity. The region’s violent conflicts have taken a toll on infrastructure and economic opportunities, keeping many people at risk to forced migration, disaster and poverty.
Renewable energy initiatives like this one take pressure off of governments by creating an alternative to a nationwide grid, and by empowering entrepreneurship and increasing food security. By targeting rural areas with populations who have agricultural and other skills that can easily translate into entrepreneurial ventures, the Regional Sustainable Energy Initiative serves as a catalyst for more comprehensive, sustainable development projects. Participants learn to construct solar collectors and other solar devices, such as fruit and vegetable dryers that make it possible to preserve foods for year-round use, solar warm water collectors and solar panels. The training and the subsequent use of these devices reduces dependence on conventional energy sources, improves food security and creates income opportunities that foster sustainable livelihoods. Installing solar house-heating systems and hot water collectors has helped residents reduce their fuel costs by 30 percent, freeing up income for other possibilities.