Director of Operations, SunFarmer
Eli Mitchell-Larson is Director of Operations for SunFarmer, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing affordable renewable energy to those who need it most in the developing world. He supports the rollout of SunFarmer’s solar-powered irrigation program in Nepal, and leads SunFarmer’s efforts to expand to new markets beyond Nepal. His responsibilities run the gamut from strategy and product development to field operations and fundraising.
Eli is committed to combating climate change without leaving marginalized groups behind. “In rural South Asia, the ability to pay for electricity can be very low,” says Eli. “Radically affordable and appropriate renewable energy technology, coupled with patient financing, is necessary.” Poorly designed incentive schemes from government or development agencies, as well as political instability and currency risk are key systemic challenges Eli faces in his work that he hopes the summit will recognize and address.
SunFarmer recently completed its first financed solar-powered water pumping pilot projects in Nepal, and is pioneering a rent-to-own business model that could help millions of smallholder farmers in Nepal and beyond improve their livelihoods. Eli is thrilled to be involved in this project and has big ambitions for where it will go next. “I believe we have a moral imperative to try to reach universal energy access without relying on the carbon-intensive technologies of the past,” he says. “We need to bring affordable renewables to as many people without energy access as possible, as quickly as possible.”