Solar Electrification for Climate Smart Schools

This project seeks to reduce energy poverty and contribute to climate resilience in Bluefields, Nicaragua, through the introduction of renewable energies.

Local population

Nicaragua is the second-largest country in Central America in terms of area, with a population of 6.4 million. With one inhabitant in five living below the poverty line, there is significant inequality in the distribution of wealth. Nicaragua is also the fourth most vulnerable country in the world to face the impacts of climate change, yet it is one of the least prepared. The poor are the most affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, and recurring hurricanes, along with environmental degradation. In addition, the political and social crisis of 2018 has led to an economic recession, increasing the level of poverty of the most vulnerable populations. All these factors have created a situation of insecurity and risk in the face of a changing climate.

The project will take place in the Autonomous Region of the South Caribbean Coast (RACCS) of Nicaragua, with a population of 306,510 located within an area of 30,724 km (10.5 people per km2). This region is the poorest in the country due to lack of infrastructure, lack of access to water and electricity, and health problems. It is the least urbanized in the country (42% of the population is rural) and has the most alarming development indices: 90% of the population is poor or extremely poor according to the HDI indicator (INIDE). It is also home to several indigenous groups (Mayan, Miskito, Rama, Creole and Garífuna) with a lower standard of living than the rest of the population.

The project will be executed specifically in rural portions of Bluefields, capital of the RACCS, located 383 km from Managua. In Bluefields, 63.1% of the population is considered extremely poor and 33.1% poor. Only 3.8% of the population is living above the poverty line.

Project objectives

The overall objective of this project is to increase the climate resilience of Colegio Cristiano Verbo through solar electrification, strengthening its role as a school, community gathering space, and disaster refuge center.

This will be achieved by:

  • Covering the computer lab with solar energy.
  • Covering the water pump with solar energy.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of the school (efficient light bulbs).
  • Increasing the capacity of the system to cover as much of the electricity bill as possible.
  • Energy education: sensitization and awareness raising on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change.

The target groups for this project are the students and staff of Colegio Cristiano Verbo, and more widely, the population of Bluefields.

About blueEnergy

The mission of blueEnergy is to empower healthy families and resilient communities by unlocking access to renewable energy, safe water, sanitation, hygiene, and sustainable food security in the face of a changing climate.

blueEnergy is a nonprofit organization that works with communities and families to create renewable energy, water, sanitation, and climate change adaptation solutions. With a focus on some of the world’s most isolated, marginalized communities, blueEnergy has been working on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua since 2004 to help the most vulnerable, poor, and isolated populations of the region to improve their living conditions, strengthen their individual and organizational capacity, and engage in productive entrepreneurship. blueEnergy has positioned itself as a major player in the region, always working in close collaboration with beneficiaries, local authorities, and national and international partners.