No longer in the dark ages: Solar power brings life to rural Croatia

What if you lived far from the grid? If you wanted power desperately but could not access it?

In the small village of Cikote, Milka and Stevo Balac have been living without electricity for more than 10 years. Dusty light-bulbs are still in their fixtures, but they are just a memory of what it was like to have a light, refrigerator and a radio. By the time I first met them, both Milka and Stevo had lost any hope for ever getting back access to electricity.

In the past year, we have driven thousands of kilometers across the country and talked to hundreds of people in similar situations. Taking this journey has made a huge difference in the way that we see our country – a supposedly “developed” country and a member state of the EU. In Croatia, once you scratch the surface beneath the big numbers, you find a surprising world of marginalized people living without access to the most basic living conditions.

It’s the kind of irony that belongs in novels: here are people living with no electricity access – in the country of the great innovator Nikola Tesla.

Thanks to solar energy, they are now producing renewable energy in their backyard, resilient to grid failures and ever-increasing energy prices.

What we did:

  • ✓ Concept of rural electrification

  • ✓ Research of rural locations

  • ✓ Research of available technologies

  • ✓ Selection and optimization

  • ✓ Action plan for electrification

  • ✓ Implementation of the systems

  • ✓ Workshop for users