Solar Electric Light Fund

From Open Energy Information

The mission of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is to empower people in developing countries to rise from poverty using energy from the sun.

What We Do

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has been working in the field of renewable energy, household energy and decentralized rural electrification for over 18 years. We have a proven track record of managing complex, multi-disciplinary international projects and have worked on renewable energy strategy issues in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Latin America.


  • Brings partners and participants together
  • Establishes "in-country" joint ventures and "for-profit partnerships"
  • Develops projects with community and local stakeholders
  • Identifies options, formalizing project design
  • Develops written proposals
  • Designs micro-finance mechanisms
  • Provides technical design of photovoltaic systems
  • Procures project equipment
  • Trains solar technicians
  • Manages system installation
  • Manages partner relationships
  • Builds capacity of local partners
  • Prepares evaluations and reports


Having used solar energy to boost agricultural production in two villages in Benin's arid Kalalé district, SELF will now bring solar power to settlement households, clinics, schools and micro-enterprises.

The Benin Whole-Village projects parallel SELF's Nigeria and Bhutan Whole Village Projects, and have been shown to achieve powerful results, transforming village life in sweeping and profoundly positive ways.


SELF, working with Village Health Works and Partners In Health, is bringing solar electric power to a health center in Kigutu, Burundi and ten rural health clinics in Lesotho. Health centers now have a sustainable source of electricity to power electric lights, refrigeration for vaccines and anti-venom serum, and medical devices.


With funding from the Kellogg Foundation and JP Morgan Chase Foundation, SELF is bringing solar power and Internet communications to 2,000 students at three off-grid schools in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Electrical lighting will allow for more intensive use of school facilities in the evening. Access to the Internet, provided through a solar-powered WiFi mesh network, gives students an entrée to the universe of learning resources.


SELF has partnered with the Association pour le Developpement Economique, Social et Culturel de Kalalé (ADESCA) and other local partners to facilitate the solar electrification of all 44 agricultural villages in the Kalalé District, Borgou Department, Benin. The project addresses the development priority of agricultural development, with a focus on irrigation and drinking water. It also supports health, education, general economic development and community infrastructure.


SELF has partnered with SolarNetOne, a collaborative effort spanning several continents, organizations, and technical disciplines, with the goal of developing a feasible, sustainable solution for providing public and private Internet access and related services to rural and impoverished areas that do not have the benefit of reliable power or a communications grid. The SolarNetOne team is designing and implementing systems capable of bridging the digital divide in the most challenging environments, with the most 'open' method available.