Launched in the summer of 2021 by the Intelligent Energy Association (Asociatia Energia Inteligenta – AEI), the Energy for Life Project (Energie pentru Viata), which aimed to provide solar panels to poor households in remote areas that cannot be connected to the electricity grid, has reached its sixth phase.
So far, such systems have been installed in households in Intregalde, Alba County (June 2021), Puntea Lupului village, Harghita County (October 2021), Naruja and Vintileasca communes, Vrancea County (September 2022), Valea Rotunda village, Dealu commune, Harghita County (December 2022), Lesu (June 2023) and Prundul Bargaului communes (July 2023), the last two being located in Bistrita Nasaud County.
The houses benefiting from the project have never been connected to the electricity grid, and their inhabitants are generally elderly people, single parent families, parents and/or grandparents who are struggling to raise their children or grandchildren. Although the use of renewable energy sources brings a number of benefits that are hard to ignore, sometimes the difference between a kerosene lamp and the energy produced by solar panels is quantified by people who have never had access to electricity in their lives by the fact that “there is no smell and no smoke in the house”.
“Although for the vast majority it is considered ‘normality’, still very many people still do not have access to electricity. I believe that it is our duty, all of us, to get involved in projects with an impact on society, which can make a difference, whether we are talking about state authorities, the private sector, or NGOs, because only together we can bring a change for the better in the lives of our fellow human beings. A society can only evolve by showing care for people and the environment. Through the Energy for Life project, we have created an optimal environment for the development of human resources, while protecting nature – we have turned on the lights in people’s homes, using energy from renewable sources,” underlined Dumitru Chisalita, President of the Intelligent Energy Association.
Hoping that the project will continue, the AEI President thanked for their involvement all those who supported this project – important companies in the energy sector, the Jeep Club Romania Association, whose volunteers were always close by, and the journalists participating in the activities.
In Romania, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Energy based on data collected from County Councils and Prefectures, in 2018 more than 52,000 households had no electricity, many of them being located in remote areas. Although necessary, investments to connect households to the electricity grid do not demonstrate the efficiency criterion. Therefore, they do not benefit the distribution operator, so it looks like it will be quite some time before electricity reaches these areas.
Currently, funding for the installation of photovoltaic panels excludes households that are more than 2 km from the existing electricity grid, so about 9000 households in Romania do not hope to benefit from electricity.
Through the Energy for Life project, the Intelligent Energy Association aimed both to attract the necessary funding for the installation of photovoltaic panels in remote houses that have never had electricity and to raise the alarm about the large number of non-electrified households in Romania today.