Renewable World awarded grant from Big Lottery Fund for solar water pumping in Nepal

December 19, 2014

A recent grant from Big Lottery Fund (BIG) will enable Brighton based charity, Renewable World to provide nineteen poor, water scarce communities in the hills of Nepal with access to life changing water all year round.

The £500,000 grant has been awarded to Renewable World for their “Solar MUS for Sustainable Livelihoods” project, and will reach over 5,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the hills of western Nepal. Starting in March 2015 the project will address the severe shortage of water for agriculture, sanitation and drinking; thereby, tackling poverty, poor health and low educational attainment head-on. The BIG support will allow Renewable World and implementing partners SAPPROS Nepal, iDE Nepal and Sun Farmer, to install nineteen Solar Multi Use Systems (SolarMUS) and deliver training, credit and market linkages with the communities. The project is aligned to the Government of Nepal’s development goals through supporting agencies, The Alternate Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and Social Welfare Council.

Nick Virr, Global Programme Manager for Renewable World said: “the launch of SolarMUS Phase_II is an important milestone for myself, our Nepal team and local partners. Having seen the critical needs in water scarce communities and the benefits that are obtained from lifting water, I am excited and committed about delivering those benefits to a much wider group. I am very much looking forward to working with my brilliant Nepalese colleagues and seeing those benefits enjoyed by those who most need them. We very much appreciate the partnership with Big Lottery Fund for making this a reality”.


The SolarMUS approach utilises solar photo-voltaic panels, linked to water pumps to lift substantial amounts of water to a distribution network that delivers water for both domestic and productive uses. A key element of this design, and core to Renewable World’s development model, is the critical linking of clean energy and water to productive uses, in this case, the production of high-value vegetable crops throughout the year especially during the long debilitating dry season. Working from the ground up with the communities themselves, Renewable World and partners, will both deliver water when and where it is needed most and implement local watershed and environmental management plans to ensure the long term availability of the water source and supporting ecosystems.

Strategically, SolarMUS Phase_II is a stepping stone to commercialisation and scale-up of the benefits of solar pumping in the hills of Nepal. Consequently, the project design uses a demand led approach to garner the individual needs of each community and introduces new financial products, establishes a sustainable supply chain and mobilises additional capital from the AEPC, local banks and equity investors such as, partner Sun Farmer.

Renewable Word has been working to bring clean energy to communities in South Asia, East Africa and Central America since 2007. Its projects power homes, schools and businesses, supplying them with sustainable fuel, renewable electricity and clean water.

Read more about Renewable World

Learn more about our solarMUS programme