A few corporate policies have left thousands of poor villagers in Sri Lanka abandoned and desperate. These customers had opted for the Shell solar systems under the rural electrification program run by them. Shell has not only abandoned their project but have also phased out of their solar business.

This change in corporate policies has left thousands of people stranded. Especially so as most of these solar systems are now lying useless as they have failed. Shell is not honoring its warranty and service commitments. Thee panels had been bought with the help of micro financing as the customers could not afford to buy them outright.

The solar panels were supposed to bring electricity to the villages and make life easier for them. Instead they now have to repay their loans for panels that are defunct.

Shell, in their defense claim that the entire project had been sold to Environ Energy who are now responsible to make true the commitments. Shell claim that this had been a part of the transfer of ownership. Environ Energy on the other hand denies any responsibility.

The whole situation has left hundreds of poor customers in doldrums and is also affecting the micro finance provided by the World Bank. In its own way it is promoting distrust towards the use of renewable energy projects too.

Source:  Eco Earth

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