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Community Centers for the Generation and Use of Renewable Energies in Indigenous Regions of Oaxaca

The main objective of the Community Centers for the Generation and Use of Renewable Energy in Indigenous Regions of Oaxaca project is to “Contribute to energy self-sufficiency and the sustainability of the population’s livelihoods in the face of the threats and challenges of climate change in indigenous communities in Oaxaca. In this way, it seeks to make the most of the conditions of solar radiation, winds, hydraulic currents and resources for bioenergy, as well as the organization and participation of the local population in the various processes that occur in different regions of Oaxaca, for the defense of the territory, community autonomy and the response to the great socio-environmental problems that currently exist.

This experience characterizes the problem of the lack or deficiency of energy, water and digital communication sources, which causes high levels of inequality and vulnerability, mainly among the population of girls, boys, young people and women of 20 peasant-indigenous and semi-urban communities. In this way, this initiative seeks to address access to and availability of conventional and renewable electricity; access to water and wastewater sanitation; and the digital divide.

Technical characteristics of the proposal

The following systems have been installed in the Community Centers, as appropriate:

Solar: Photovoltaic systems for power generation; water pumping, indoor lighting, solar dehydrators, outdoor lighting, solar oven, solar heaters, solar generator (portable), solar cookers, solar refrigeration and solar freezer.

Wind: Hybrid (small scale) wind-solar generator for: pumping, power generation and indoor and outdoor lighting.

Hydraulic: Hydraulic turbines (small scale), flexible cisterns (polyethylene) and circular geomembrane ponds for rainwater storage, mesh screens for fog water collection.

Biomass: Efficient pyrolytic combustion stoves, bamboo and wood charcoal kilns.

Internet connection systems and computer equipment: Powered by sustainable energy in the Community Renewable Energy Centers.

*The following systems and equipment were installed in the 20 communities and 11 Community Centers:

-4 photovoltaic solar energy systems of 10 kw FUSION SOLAR PV HUAWEI LUNA 2000 – 5KW: 8 Panels 450 W each, 2 Lithium-ion battery 5 kW, Controller, Transformer 220 V.
-10 photovoltaic solar energy systems of 5 kw FUSION SOLAR PV HUAWEI LUNA 2000 – 5KW: 5 Panels 450 W each 1 Lithium-ion battery 5 kW, Controller, Transformer 220 V.
-7 Island type solar photovoltaic systems 1.2 kw. PROTOS PS – SYSTEM HOME: 1 Solar Panel 370 watts, Controller, Inverter 1000 watts, 2 batteries gel 12 V 115 Ah
-60 family photovoltaic equipment of 275 watts: solar panel, gel battery, controller, 450 watts inverter, 3 led lamps of 18 watts.
-1 1000 watts portable generator and solar panel.
-1 1.3 kw Wind-Solar Hybrid System: Panel, battery, controller, and inverter.
-1 Solar Refrigerator 220 lts: 2 gel batteries, 1 panel and controller.
-1 Solar chiller freezer 250 lts: 4 gel batteries, 2 panels and controller.
-8 Solar heaters of 150 liters: Thermo-tank 150 Liters, Flat Solar Collector of 2.6 m2.
-1 2-compartment solar oven for 3 kg.
-Solar dehydrator for fruits and vegetables 10 kg.
-5 Photocell and Submersible Solar Pump / well / PS2-150 AHR-07S Helical, Lorenz
-5 Photocell and Portable Submersible Solar Pump / PS2-150 CSJ5-8 Centrifugal, Lorenz.
-18 Photocell and portable submersible solar pump / PS2-100 AHR-07S Helicoidal, Lorenz.
-13 Solar/led luminaires, 60 watts, 8000 lumens 7 meters high: Panel, gel batteries, Controller, Cabinet.
-20 DMSL- S6A-50 “All in one” solar luminaires / leds, 12 V / 50 watts / 1.74 A50 watts, 5250 lumens Lithium battery.
-20 solar / led luminaires, 40 watts, 4,800 lumens.
-40 Solar cookers.
-2 Hydraulic HE micro-turbine PLT Power Spout 28-56 250 watts.
-5 Hydraulic pico-turbines to charge 25 watts -12 v batteries.
-1 Water pond of 100 m3 of geo-membrane.
-2 screens for community fog water collection of 24 m2
-10 family fog water collection screens of 8 m2 -10 family fog water collection screens of 8 m2
-26 Flexible bag cistern / rainwater / 40 m3.
-1 Octagonal metal furnace for the production of wood and bamboo charcoal.
-160 pyrolytic combustion stoves 10 liters.
-24 computer equipments in community centers and internet connection.

Productive, community, environmental, or economic processes or activities that were positively impacted by the implementation of the community experience of TEJ.
  • 16 new social actors from nearby communities request information and their incorporation into the project.
  • Children, adolescents and young people from 4 communities participate in project activities.
  • Reduction of workloads for 350 women due to the installation of water collection and distribution systems.
  • Increased use in 3 communities of the natural hydrological cycle.
  • Improved digital connectivity in 4 community centers.
  • Eight community renewable energy centers produce and consume 70% of their energy needs self-sufficiently.
Beneficiaries of the experience

5,000 women, 3,500 men, 6,530 adolescents and young people (between 12 and 18 years old), 11,300 children (between 0 and 12 years old)

  1. Access and autonomous generation of sustainable energy in 7 community centers in 6 indigenous regions of Oaxaca.
  2. Economic savings by reducing fossil energy consumption in 7 community centers and 40 vulnerable families.
  3. Expanded community participation in 4 communities with greater involvement of children, youth and women.
  1. Difficulties in timely access to materials and supplies due to socio-political conflicts and the negative effects of the pandemic caused by Covid 19 in some work regions.
  2. Three (3) months of delay in the delivery of systems and equipment by some suppliers.
  3. The sophisticated technology of some systems and equipment requires further training of a larger number of people.
  4. Twelve (12) members of the technical and management team of the organization developing the project, affected for two months by the pandemic caused by 19.
Women’s participation in the TEJ community experience

It is women who travel long distances to collect firewood and carry water (when available), who work in smoky kitchens with the consequent effects on their health, and who face various dangers when they go out to use outdoor latrines (when available) without proper lighting. Girls are often left behind and without educational opportunities due to the lack of energy, so ensuring access to energy for women and girls is a fundamental women’s rights and human rights issue. 

The project has enabled the direct intervention of women, in terms of acquiring new knowledge, participating in the training courses and workshops, in the direct execution of the actions, reducing the time and efforts in domestic and productive work, as well as the decision making of women regarding the use of Renewable Energy alternatives, which enables a greater self-esteem of their role, when making important decisions for personal and family well-being. More than 50% of the project’s beneficiaries are women heads of household, who are directly responsible for managing the project with the support of their husbands, daughters and sons.