Categories: Articles, Resource managementPublished On: 21st April 2023

For Earth Month, an opportunity to support solar power and sustainable agriculture in SA

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April 22 is Earth Day, and South Africans have a unique opportunity to support a project with a positive impact on the climate and environment, sustainable agriculture, economic development and the ever-so-critical deployment of solar power to help address South Africa’s energy crisis.

Sun Exchange, the innovative Cape Town-based solar solutions provider, is facilitating a 48,6 kilowatt solar project to power Buhle Farmers’ Academy, a non-profit that trains, mentors and supports emerging farmers across South Africa to run sustainable and profitable farming businesses. The project will be made possible by a community of thousands of solar supporters across South Africa and globally, who use the Sun Exchange platform to fund solar projects.

While Sun Exchange members typically earn an income from the solar projects they fund, the Buhle Farmers’ Academy project is Sun Exchange’s first donation-based project, where funders forego earnings in order to deepen the positive impact and economic benefits of the project. This is in response to increasing demand from the Sun Exchange community for impact-driven projects.

The solar project will be installed at no cost to Buhle, and will reduce the organisation’s energy costs dramatically, by an estimated 40-70%. This is particularly meaningful given the 653% increase in electricity tariffs and 129% inflation rate in South Africa over the past five years, which has placed an enormous burden on non-profits. Buhle will pay only a very low rate for the electricity generated by the solar project to cover the management, maintenance, monitoring and insurance for the plant.

Anyone can sign up as a Sun Exchange member and support Buhle Farmers’ Academy’s solar power journey starting at just ZAR 99,00 at sunexchange.com/project/buhle-farmers-academy. Thirty-one percent of the solar project has been funded so far by 174 Sun Exchange members in South Africa and globally.

“The prospect of going solar is deeply meaningful and exciting for Buhle Farmers’ Academy,” said Zamo Shongwe, Executive Director, Buhle Farmers’ Academy. “Not only will it significantly reduce our energy costs, it also addresses the energy and climate crises, both of which have had devastating effects on smallholder farmers in South Africa and must be mitigated in order for the industry to thrive. By harnessing the power of the sun, we can advance our mission of creating food secure communities and creating dignified jobs through the training of emerging farmers.”

“Over the past seven years, Sun Exchange has built a passionate global community that understands the profound benefits of solar power and is dedicated to unlocking its potential,” said Saul Wainwright, Managing Director, Sun Exchange. “We’re thrilled to see this community get behind the Buhle Farmers’ Academy solar project, which is strictly focused on driving positive socio-economic and environmental impacts. We invite others across South Africa to join us to help get Buhle solar powered.”

Source: The sun exchange

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