2 May 2002

(Solar) Power to the People

Grupo Fenix is a non-profit organization that supports renewable energy and sustainable development in Nicaragua, especially in low-income communities. The group works with students at the National Engineering University in Managua to develop low-cost, high-efficiency solar ovens for cooking or drying wood as well as solar cells for generating electricity for lighting and recharging expired batteries in a country with extreme poverty and very little infrastructure. The group also employs landmine survivors, teaching them how to install and maintain the solar units. The solar units are recycled from silicon wafers from the U.S. that are not quite pure enough to make computer chips out of.