Raising awareness on renewable energy in rural Argentina

Sustainable Economic Development and Renewable Energy is not solely about the usage of the right tools. It also includes the knowledge on how to use these tools and what is needed for it. Our supported project partner Fundacion EcoAndina from Argentina conducts valuable contribution to the knowledge dissemination in the field of solar energy and sustainable development for the Province of Jujuy, involving local communities, universities and schools for the cause of renewable energy solutions. Fundacion EcoAndina

The Jujuy province in the far north-west of Argentina can be described as mostly rural and experiences the shortcomings of industrial transformation since the local mining sector is declining in its importance to the Argentinian economy. Under these circumstances Fundacion EcoAndina provides alternatives and promotes solar energy to the local communities and educational institutions as a mean to make Jujuy more sustainable and establishing sustainable economic development in the region. The work of Fundacion EcoAndina is mostly focussed on raising awareness in schools, universities and local communities as well as showcasing the technical experience of EcoAndina in their CEDIERA centre. This centre consists of theirEcoSolar House, a best practice example for energy efficient building construction, and a technology park with different examples of solar technology (e-bikes, solar cookers, warm water systems and more). More detailed information about the work of Fundacion EcoAndina and their CEDIERA centre is accessible on our website Exchange: Jujuy On The Path To Green Energy (SEPS16) and from EcoAndina.

This year, EcoAndina was very active and conducted several lectures, presentations, trainings, capacity-building and awareness events. Especially raising awareness for sustainable development solutions at events such as „World Environment Day“ in local schools contributed highly in institutionalizing the importance of implementing sustainable alternatives in rural communities such as in Jujuy. Furthermore, EcoAndina hold lectures and technical trainings for university students in the field of engineering and economics. These technical trainings are also open to local residents in order to learn more about the benefits of solar energy in the household and daily life. During these trainings, events and presentations, EcoAndina collaborated with regional and national partners such as the Ministry of Environment, , National Advisory Board for Future Energy Politics in Argentina and Ministry of Education. In particular the educational institutions recognized the importance of the topic and approached EcoAndina for developing school curricula on sustainable development in primary and secondary schools. But also tertiary educational institutions approached EcoAndina for collaborations, namely University of National Defense and National University of Jujuy.

Especially the latter collaborations enabled the opportunity for students from the economics department to absolve internships at Fundacion EcoAndina, which creates mutual benefits for EcoAndina and the students. First the students can apply their theoretical knowledge directly in the field of sustainability and renewable energy. Second the Foundation EcoAndina strengthens their networks and can further develop a sustainable business model in cooperation with the arrived interns. Related to this, additional interns from the United States and Spain have been welcomed by Fundacion EcoAndina. Summing up the variety of organized public events, the support of WISIONS enabled Fundacion EcoAndina to become a well recognized and institutionalized regional NGO for the promotion of solar energy in Jujuy. From the perspective of WISIONS it is exciting to observe, how the financial support of WISIONS enabled a local NGO in rural Argentina to create impact and further becoming an institution for renewable energy promotion in the region. In a nutshell, their expertise on solar energy combined with the support of WISIONS made EcoAndina a highly acknowledged institution for consultation for renewable energy solutions in the region.

Find more information about the work of Fundacion EcoAndina on their website or Facebook page. Here you can discover the latest activities of EcoAndina and how they aim to make Jujuy more aware of renewable energy opportunities.

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