Some Thoughts on the “100.000 Solar Ger” Program

The World Bank has published an article, with a video associated, on the “100.000 Solar Ger” program that has succeeded in getting electricity to about half of the Mongolians living a nomadic lifestyle in the countryside.

Unfortunately, the video is in some kind of exotic format, instead of just posted at Youtube, so I can’t paste it into this article. I recommend viewing it at the link above, it’s only a couple of minutes.

For one, if there is a large scale solar project in the Gobi desert, it obviously helps that people actually living there are familiar with solar and have improved their quality of life by buying some small solar systems themselves.

As a percentage value, probably more Mongolian herders have installed solar on their homes as German or Japanese house owners.

And they all have batteries for their systems, since they need to be able to use the electricity after the sun is down. In contrast, most German solar installations are without batteries.

Now, the question would be how to use this experience to get to the next step.

One idea would be to start a solar project somewhere and open if for participation by these herders. Give anybody the opportunity to own a couple of solar panels in the project, and get paid according to his ownership.

Or course, there would be no need to restrict ownership to local herders. But as experience shows, having the locals own some of the infrastructure can only help with achieving the acceptance necessary for any large scale project.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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