Fastenopfer – Colombia

Swiss Partners

Fastenopfer, Lucerne
David Knecht

Project Type:

Pilot project





Project Status:


Project Start:


End of Project:




Swiss Contribution

The Swiss NGO Fastenopfer has proven expertise in developing and accompanying community owned financial structures, an important element of its interventions in 14 countries since the 1990s.


For rural farming communities, the instability of electrical energy has become a bottleneck in the implementation of new technology necessary for production, conservation and food processing. The project seeks to prove that a community-centred development approach using energy as a driver of change improves living conditions. This will be implemented in three Colombian indigenous territories: Palma Alta, Hilarquito and Tamirco, belonging to the Pijao people. Selected solar energy solutions (cooling, incubator, water pumping and electric fences) linked to productive processes will be installed as pilot projects. In parallel, local capacities for the administration and maintenance of these energy services will be built. Based on these experiences, it is planned to develop integrated and inclusive business models for clean energy services. A linkage will be done with an adapted version of an already existing community-owned micro-finance structure (fondo rotatorio) allowing scaling-up and replication at regional levels with a special focus on youth and women.


The field studies (baseline study and energy diagnosis) could be carried out in spite of the pandemic. A change of plan in Palma Alta resulted in the substitution of the solar cooling system by a shredder and pellet solar system powered by PV generated electricity. The other planned applications (solar water pumps, cooling, shredder and pellet machine, electric pasture fences) could be built and put into operation. In addition, 12 energy managers were trained for the administration and operation of the energy services, and the business models for multiplication were created.