Energy Institute Institute 2012 Poverty Spotlight

Electrifying The Poorest Communities on Earth
Juan and QUETSOL attended the 2012 Unreasonable Institute. If you want to read more and connect with him click here to see his Unreasonable Profile.

Juan Fermín Rodríguez: Competition has surrounded Juan Rodriguez throughout his life. Working in the corporate world, Juan wanted to align his work with his moral principles by solving a big problem he witnessed in Guatemala. And fortunately, Juan’s family supported him along the way. He attributes these factors to his ability to take risks in order to change things. He’s inspired to help make the world a better place.

I wanted to align my daily activities to my moral principles

QUETSOL: QUETSOL offers appropriate technology solutions that sustainably provide for the energy demands of a wide variety of users at a lower ecologic, social, and economic cost.

QUETSOL provides their customers the necessary tools in order to become energetically independent, thus increasing their productivity and development. Their primary focus is on developing micro-scale energy solutions for families and communities who have always lacked even the most basic electrical service. QUETSOL’s reasonable pricing allows customers to procure lighting and other electrical services at a lower cost than the alternatives – from candles and kerosene to the grid itself.

It’s been 2 years and we’ve electrified over 3,000 homes and affected over 15,000 lives

About the author

Unreasonable Institute

Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute arms entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems with the mentorship, capital, and networks they need to do so.

  • Rachel Strobel

    Simply beautiful! Thank you Juan to you and your team for creating a project like this. I think there is ample opportunity for this to scale. I am curious if you provide the micro financing option or do you partner with a micro financing organization? Also, do you have any concerns about what people do with the batteries once they are done with them? Do you have a disposal plan? How long do your batteries last? Thank you for this very insightful example! Wonderful work!

  • Juanish Rodriguez

    Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for your kind words. Regards to your questions – a) We do the financing now, since working with other institutions is very inneficient; b) We recycle the batteries. Each time a customer needs a change, through the pay as you service, it has no cost for them. They bring the control box to us, we change it, and then recycle the old one; c) About 2-3 years. Thanks again for the support!!! Best

  • Courtlyn Carpenter

    Thank you for working to change so many lives by providing people with clean lighting sources! Quetsol’s work is inspiring, and I especially like that Mr. Rodriguez started this venture as a means of following his everyday principles in all aspects of his life, including his workplace. I know that solar panels do not last forever and that batteries can only store so much energy, so I was wondering what the lifetime of the solar panels is and how long the lights can run when the panels do not have access to light? If someone tried to keep the lights on throughout the entire night, would they be able to do this? Thank you again for making such positive changes in the world! This project is truly inspiring.

  • Tolla

    Hello Juan, thank you for the incredible work you do. I want to ask if your product and services are in Nigeria by any chance. Lack of access to power and electricity is a big issue in Nigeria and I am curious as to whether you already have a business or customer base in Nigeria, if not, I will be interested in talking to you about possibly creating a distribution channel for you in Nigeria.
    I also want or ask if you have develop or are in the process of developing a solar energy generator that can power about 8 various appliance of different power voltage for about 6-8 hours. I am really interested in that and the magnitude of what it can do in terms of helping small business in their productivity because a lot of time are lost due to lack of electricity and even for a family, it will do a greater good for the whole family system.

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    Thank you for this article! It is wonderful to hear that you help people with something as basic as lighting, in Guatemala. Members from the St.Bruno Parish located in Dousman, WI, where I attend church, do a lot of mission work to help women and children in Guatemala. I like to hear that other things are being done to help people in these poor communities. Every year my mom usually helps by sending care packages that include school supplies, vitamins, soap, toothpaste, band aids, etc, to people in Guatemala. As a kid I always questioned things such as what about light, electricity, and clean water for the people in Guatemala? I am glad to hear that something is being done to solve this problem and in a Eco-friendly way that is cost efficient! Do you ever plan on implementing these methods of light and energy source in the US? (not for the need but just for the Eco-friendly aspect of it)

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