PV for pumping the well allows the farm to increase the amount of land used for irrigation and increases labour insertion of vulnerable groups.
Faced with the high number of people in a situation or at risk of social exclusion, Caritas Seville promotes and coordinates its employment insertion company Bioalverde, which through the management and ecological agricultural exploitation (20 hectares) manages to close a cycle that begins with the need of the vulnerable and ends with the coverage of this need.
In 2018, they detected that the use of irrigated land allowed them to increase the number of contracted staff and therefore training places. This good practice focuses on the PV installation to pump water from the well for irrigation, which supplies more than 92% of the energy required to allows hire more poor people and alleviate the energy poverty situation.
It consists of the following steps:
1. Training in skills and organic farming for vulnerable people every year to create a pool of potential new recruits to the company.
2. Reinsertion of vulnerable people into the labour market so that they can gain experience and to make room for potential new incorporations. Development of organic farming with renewable energy supply (fair and sustainable consumption).
3. Supply of food to social kitchens attended by vulnerable people.
- PV installation: €18,000, financed by ENDESA funds.
- Energy feasibility study of the project and responsible for the supply, implementation and assembly of the solar photovoltaic installation and accessories: Energía Sin Fronteras through its volunteers.
Evidence of success
In August 2019, 13 people hired full time and assisted by two social workers for their insertion and improvement of socio-labour skills. In terms of production, this irrigation expansion has provided us with a two-fold increase in production and the purchase of our products by our members has grown by 177%, allowing the incorporation of 2 more workers for each hectare of irrigated land.
In October 2019, 48 people trained, who have completed the course on skills and organic farming.
We must highlight the context in which this is happening: In 2018, in Spain, there was the sun tax and many barriers that did not favour the commitment to solar photovoltaic energy.
Potential for learning or transfer
The forecast for 2020-2023 is to reach 23 people hired and 80 people trained thanks to the continuous expansion of irrigated hectares (2 ha/year) with a corresponding increase in demand for production and therefore employment and training.
Caritas, after seeing the successful results of solar energy, is considering using this technology in other buildings such as training centres and shelters belonging to Caritas. Furthermore, with the new Spanish legislation (2019) that favours self-consumption, the training in ecological agriculture could be extended to include solar photovoltaic installers and thus include this labour reinsertion in the cycle mentioned in the description.
Of course, this good practice can be replicated in any European region with sun and countryside.
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