Panasonic Corporation has kicked off a project for people living in off-grid areas that combines educational activities to promote understanding of electricity and provision of the company’s related products. The Off-grid Solutions Project is part of Panasonic’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, celebrating the centennial of the company’s founding this year.
This new initiative aims to support the creation of a sustainable society where each individual living without access to the power grid can lead an independent life. Panasonic will donate its products such as solar generation and storage systems, provide education and technical training to cultivate human resources, and help develop local business models taking advantage of electricity. Through these activities, Panasonic wants to help establish a solid educational foundation, increase local in-come and support independence for these communities. These activities will also contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The new project is intended for communities in Asia and Africa with a large off-grid population, where Panasonic will work with NGOs and NPOs that are making efforts to resolve societal issues these communities face. Starting in Indonesia (January 2018–December 2019), Myanmar (April 2018–March 2020) and Kenya (currently being coordinated), the activities will be gradually expand-ed into other regions and countries.
Specific Activities in the Project
1. Education for sustainable development for local citizens. In order to promote voluntary use of the donated products, Panasonic will provide education to raise awareness among local citizens regarding electricity-use and offer fundamental training on solar panels and storage systems.
2. Donation of solar generation and storage systems to promote the use of renewable energy. Panasonic will donate its stand-alone photovoltaic power package called Power Supply Station, compact energy storage systems with LED lighting known as eneloop solar storage, and solar lanterns, among others. They will be used in schools and community assembly halls, as well as in homes.
3. Development of electricity-based local industry models to increase income. Panasonic will attempt to create small-scale industrial models, such as agricultural and fish-processing businesses, that make use of energy generated by solar panels and storage systems. The aim includes securing the funds necessary for continuing these businesses, including systems maintenance and battery replacements, to bring about a positive socioeconomic impact in the community.
— Solar Builder magazine