In the state of Querétaro, central Mexico, about two hours northwest of Mexico City, 30,000 people live without running water or access to the public power grid. Most of them spend up to 40% of their income on candles and batteries. There are few opportunities to read a book, listen to the radio and watch TV. Consequently, schooling enrolment and access to information are on a comparatively low level.
Siemens Energy opened a switchgear manufacturing plant in Querétaro in 2009 and quickly realized that there were several needs for electricity on its doorstep. In 2011 Siemens formed a partnership with the government of Querétaro to bring renewable energy to remote villages through a project called "light close to everyone".
Siemens’ small-scale systems generate enough electricity to operate lamps, a radio, or a TV for several hours. Siemens also donated 10 community kits, which were installed in community centres to run fridges for storing vaccines, medicines and food. For Siemens it was important to make use of renewable energies because these do not create operating costs for fuel and they show that a low-carbon future is possible in remote areas.
“We not only want to create jobs and expand our business in the region, but to contribute to the development of the communities where we operate. That’s why we organize programmes that improve people’s quality of life through technology,” said Louise Goeser, CEO of Siemens Mesoamérica.