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Lightning up the Heart of Rural Transylvania

houses with photovoltaic panels© Hoghilag Commune
In the heart of rural Transylvania, Hoghilag village in Sibiu county has witnessed a transformative change, thanks to an initiative powered by the EEA and Norway Grants. A community once shrouded in the dim glow of gas lamps now radiates with the brilliance of solar-powered electricity, illuminating not just homes but the very essence of daily life for its residents.

For 69 families inhabiting this serene corner of Romania, the introduction of solar-powered electricity has been nothing short of revolutionary. The grant's intervention didn't merely flip a switch—it ignited a chain reaction of improvements that touched every aspect of existence in Hoghilag.

Maria Friti, a local resident, encapsulates the village's collective sentiment, expressing her joy at the newfound light and the simple yet profound pleasures it has brought. "We are very pleased that you have brought light into our houses. We didn’t have electricity until now and made do with gas lamps as best we could." Her enthusiasm, mirrored by the sight of a new TV in her home, paints a picture of contentment that was previously beyond reach.

The project's impact extends far beyond the confines of illumination. It symbolizes a shift towards sustainability, aligning with regional and European goals to combat energy poverty and embrace renewable sources. Through photovoltaic panels, Hoghilag now generates 110.4 MWh annually, not only lighting up homes but also making a tangible contribution to curbing CO2 emissions by an estimated 33.78 tonnes yearly.

Mayor Nicolae Lazar stands as a proud advocate of this initiative, emphasizing its profound implications for the villagers. "Even though we are in the 21st century, dozens of children could not do their homework by the light of a light bulb. From this moment, they can. These people lived almost like in the Middle Ages, but thanks to this project, we have been able to change their fate."

Beyond the glow of light bulbs, the installation of refrigerators stands as a beacon of progress. Powered by the same panels, these appliances signify not just convenience but the potential to reduce food wastage, enhance health, and amplify the overall standard of living.

The impact of the EEA and Norway Grants in Hoghilag is a testament to the far-reaching implications of electrification. It underscores the potential to bridge disparities between rural and urban areas, bolster education, healthcare, and stimulate economic growth. This project isn't just about power—it's about empowerment.

As we witness the dawn of a new era in Hoghilag, this success story stands as a beacon, illuminating the path towards a future where communities, powered by sustainable energy, thrive and prosper. The video testimonial encapsulates the gratitude and hope of a village that has stepped out of the shadows and into a brighter, more promising tomorrow.

The transformative impact of the EEA and Norway Grants in Hoghilag echoes beyond this moment, sparking the potential for further developments and opportunities that transcend the boundaries of this humble village. It's a story of not just light but of a community empowered to script its own narrative of progress and prosperity.

The ripple effect of such initiatives extends far and wide, promising to leave an indelible mark on communities, not just in Romania but across the globe, showcasing the immense power of collaborative efforts in shaping a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

About the Energy Programme in Romania

The Energy Programme in Romania, managed by Innovation Norway, aims at less carbon-intensive energy and increased energy security, providing grants for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electrification of households. The Programme financing is ensured through the EEA and Norway Grants which contribute to social and economic development in 10 European countries, including Romania.

About Innovation Norway

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. In Romania, Innovation Norway is managing two programmes: the Energy Programme and the SMEs Growth Programme.

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