In Brazil, we are working with Insolar, a company dedicated to bringing the benefits of solar power to low income communities in Brazil. Together, Insolar, the local community and Shell are helping to bring solar power to the community buildings and facilities in the Santa Marta favela in Rio de Janeiro. This will generate the equivalent of an estimated 185,000 days of free, clean power over the lifetime of the installations. To extend the benefits of solar across the favela, local residents will be invited to apply to the Insolar Fund for financial assistance so they can install solar panels on their own homes. 

Henrique Drumond talking to Kylie Flavell
Henrique Drumond, the man behind Insolar, talking to TV presenter Kylie Flavell

This is Santa Marta, one of Rio de Janeiro's central favelas. It was among the first to be freed from street gangs under a Brazilian state programme, and is now home to community determined to build a better life for themselves.

That hope however is often hampered by the high price and low reliability of its power supply.

Luckily there is one source of energy that is both abundant in supply and reliable every day of the year: the sun.

People in Santa Marta currently lack the tools to harness it. But Insolar is a small startup working to change that.

A community spirit

Founded by Shell LiveWIRE winner Henrique Drumond, Insolar’s mission is to connect communities to solar power by installing photovoltaic panels. These solar panels not only provide low-income families with affordable electricity but aim to benefit the society, economy, and environment.

Collaboration is vital. Insolar brings together community partners, volunteers and job trainees. And Shell is helping too, by supporting the start-up to bring solar energy to those who need it and making the region a brighter place to live.

More in make the future

Turning gravity into light

Harnessing kinetic energy from the gravity of falling rocks, GravityLight produces a safe, renewable source of light to those with no access to electricity.

A new spin on efficiency

What if we could capture the wind created by passing cars with roadside turbines, and turn it into usable energy?