Sustainable development through the use of solar energy for productive processes: The Ayllu Solar Project

Ramirez-Del-Barrio, Paulina; Mendoza-Araya, Patricio; Valencia, Felipe; León, Gonzalo; Cornejo-Ponce, Lorena; Montedonico, Marcia; Jimenez-Estevez, Guillermo


The Ayllu Solar project's main goal is to foster the sustainable development of rural/urban communities in Arica & Parinacota region, northern Chile, by means of using solar energy. This is a 5-year project based on three pillars, namely, (i) the creation of replicable and scalable energy solutions, (ii) the development of human capital capacities for the effective use of solar energy, and (iii) ensuring sustainability including effective solar energy solutions, business models, support network, community involvement and a proper institutional framework. Concerning the former, the project follows a community participatory approach through a “co-construction methodology”. The projects' methodology considered a first year of information gathering and the creation of a baseline of solar energy status, and a second year for the development of “reference projects”, which are initiatives that will serve as examples to local communities on how solar energy can be effectively used in their productive processes. This paper presents the current state of progress, on the third year of execution of the Ayllu project, of four reference projects presently under development: (a) an alpaca fiber processing solution that includes fiber mill and electric shearing units, in Visviri town, (b) tourism in pre-Hispanic caravan routes, in Putre rural areas, (c) cultivation of river shrimp through the intensive use of solar energy, in Camarones valley, and (d) solar dehydration, packing and store systems for fruits and vegetables, in Caleta Vítor and Chaca valley. The projects are described from the technical, social, and cultural point of view showing the achievements reached when integral solutions are proposed instead of the single technical approach.

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Fecha de publicación: 2017