Leonardo DiCaprio's solar venture powers rural, off-the-grid places
In remote, off-the-grid lands, millions of people would be pleased to plug in a small fridge, or use a blender, or even just turn on a lightbulb. But power grids still don't reach over one billion people worldwide, so these people often still read by candlelight and use diesel generators to charge their cell phones.
One company with a new, high-profile Hollywood connection is trying to change this through distributed solar power installations.
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has joined an off-the-grid solar company, Kingo, which seeks to power lights, refrigerators, and laptops for people in remote areas, like those living in the Guatemalan mountains. DiCaprio, who has invested millions in conservation and renewable energy causes, not only became an investor in Kingo — he also joined its board of advisors, the company announced Thursday.
In three years, Kingo says it has grown from 500 to 60,000 customers. The company installs solar panels and batteries in rural homes — critically, at no cost. Off-the-grid customers walk to a local store and pay to have their solar electricity activated when they need it, similar to how a prepaid cell phone works.
|Leonardo DiCaprio's latest venture seeks to bring rural dwellers out of the dark
"They’re just like us — they just want a better quality of life."