Lessons Learned

Reasons behind VEV’s success:  A number of factors contribute to VEV’s success.  First of all, from the beginning, water pumps were a known and tested technology.  People are often hesitant to adopt renewable energy technologies because they are unfamiliar with them and are unsure of getting a return on their investment.  In this case, LVIA has already introduced the technology, so VEV does not have to address the issue. 

Community-level energy projects are often plagued with management problems. Often, the community uses the equipment until it no longer works, does not have the money to fix it, and waits until the next NGO comes along with a new project or the funds to fix the old one. In this case, LVIA deals with the management issues and communities pay for their own repairs. Without this set up, VEV would not have a market. 

VEV was started by a former LVIA employee who is familiar with the technology, the communities and LVIA staff. He has created a team with high technical expertise that has stayed with the company for many years. The staff is highly motivated, work well together, and can diagnose and repair most problems that appear. 

VEV has created a local supply chain through the production of some of the pump parts. By producing the parts locally, VEV has cut out the lag time involved with ordering parts from abroad and lowered costs, a savings that it passes on to the end-user.  As mentioned above, local production also creates local jobs.