Ashden Award for Energy and Agriculture, supported by the Waterloo Foundation
Costa Rican dairy farmers are enjoying higher incomes thanks to new specially designed solar water heaters that supply hot water for washing their milking equipment and milk tanks. The cost of electricity is very high in Costa Rica, making heating water a major expense for a dairy farmer – but failing to use hot water would compromise the quality and cleanliness of their milk. Solar enterprise Enertiva developed the water heaters especially for the dairy farmers, teaming up with the milk-purchasing cooperative Dos Pinos, which lends the farmers the money to buy them. With the costs of the heaters paid back within a year from the saving in electricity, greater prosperity is coming to both the farmers and their communities.