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July 25, 2011
Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation (TOKYO: 8036, Hitachi High-Tech) has completed testing of a combined solar power generation and water purification system in the village of Bekkae in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, undertaken on behalf of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Today, 72% of the world's population, or roughly 4 billion people, subsist on less than $3,000 a year. Indonesia is ranked fourth in the world in terms of population, with the country itself made up of over 17,000 islands of various sizes. Some 100 million people in Indonesia lack access to electricity, and only around 20% are thought to have access to running water. Developing businesses that recruit the local population in solving these quality of life problems will generate new industries and employment opportunities. Improving the impoverished conditions in which people live will lead to higher incomes, which has the potential to uncover promising new consumer markets. For this reason, attention is now turning to businesses that directly address this "Base of the Pyramid" (BOP) population worldwide.
In a bid to identify the best approach to BOP businesses, Hitachi High-Tech, together with Hitachi Research Institute, has promoted since August 2010 a practical demonstration project targeting a BOP rural community in Indonesia that lacks electricity with a combined solar power generation and water purification system. The project is part of a larger trial effort led by the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) to facilitate and support trade and investment, taking place under the auspices of METI.
For the project, a solar power generation and recharging system from local company PT. Sky-Energy Indonesia was installed to supply power to a water purification system from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. The combined system was installed in the village of Bekkae, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, to provide local residents with clean water for drinking and other daily uses. Electricity from the combined system was also used for charging batteries to power mobile phones and equipment to chase wild boars from crops, as well as for charging batteries to power light fixtures, thereby helping to electrify the village. In conjunction, instructions were given on how to set up a committee to manage water and electricity within the village, culminating in the development of a structure for self-management of the system by residents.
"We deeply appreciate this solar power generation and water purification systems because they have taught residents not only about management, but imparted sales expertise as well. We look forward to pursuing new projects with Hitachi High-Tech and Sky-Energy to improve infrastructure for daily life going forward." said Director General Djoko, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration.
With the success of this latest project, Hitachi High-Tech has helped better the lives of Bekkae residents, and is proud to have had the project praised by the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration. Hitachi High-Tech will promote business development in Indonesia going forward in a continuing commitment to making a contribution to society through our business, a cornerstone of CSR management at Hitachi High-Tech.
Village of Bekkae, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Water purification system (left)
paired with a solar power generation system (right)
Corporate Communications Dept.,
Aiko Matsumoto / Reiko Takeuchi