Total savings :This project will not be CDM or Gold Standard-certified
Technology transfer :Agrophotovoltaic system (33 kWp) via community garden
Local environment :electricity from renewable energy, safe drinking water supply, efficient small-scale irrigation of an approx. 0.6 hectare community area and family allotments with agroforestry systems, use of wastewater from fish farming for biological fertilization.
Further advantages :lower electricity costs, resumption of crop cultivation and agricultural activities, biological fertilization, reduction of erosion in the Caatinga through reforestation.
Project partners :Centro Cultural Brasil-Alemanha (CCBA), Alumni of CCBA, Fundação Nacional do Índio (Funai), Federal Rural University of Pernambuco in Serra Talhada and Prof. Dr. Heitor Scalambrini Costa

Safe drinking water supply and vegetable cultivation through a solar-powered water pump in combination with agriphotovoltaics in the indigenous Pankará village

In December 2020, with the help of our project partner Centro Cultural Brasil-Alemanha and the support of atmosfair, the inhabitants of the indigenous village from northeastern Brazil installed a 33 kWp solar system over their future 400m² community garden. The photovoltaic system primarily serves as a safe and renewable power supply for the continuous operation of a pump that pumps water from the São Francisco River, 7km away, to the drinking water treatment plant located in the village. Furthermore, there are very high solar radiation and high temperatures in northeastern Brazil. In the future, the PV-System, built at a height of 3 meters above the community garden, can protect it from the local climate conditions. It will enable the resumption of the cultivation of a wide variety of local vegetables and also traditional medicinal plants and seedlings for the reforestation of the Caatinga. In addition to provide an affordable and clean electricity supply, this project supports the adaptation of the village community to the changed local conditions caused by climate change.

Various measures support the adaptation to the growing challenges caused by the climate change

The indigenous Pankará village of Aldeia Serrote dos Campos is located in the state of Pernambuco in north-eastern Brazil. The naturally semi-arid region is affected by the consequences of climate change in many ways. Rising temperatures, water scarcity, poor soils, desertification, lower crop yields pose growing challenges for the indigenous Pankará.

Currently, the indigenous village community is pumping water from the São Francisco River. The amount of water is only sufficient for the drinking water needs of about 70 families, as the pump can only be operated for 4 hours a day due to the high energy costs. The irrigation of the 500m² community garden, to which each family has access, and other agriculturally usable areas is not possible at the moment. In addition, the local vegetation, the Caatinga biome, is overused and thinned out by animal husbandry. This makes it even more difficult to grow crops on the nutrient-poor and dry soils.

The agriphotovoltaic project offers a chance to pump water from the São Francisco River for more hours a day at lower costs and accordingly save energy costs. In addition, tanks for fish farming and a tree nursery are parts of the project. The fish tanks go with an aquaponics system, which serves the efficient vegetable and herb cultivation. In the tree nursery, seedlings are cultivated for the reforestation of the surrounding Caatinga biome. The possibility of using water from the river for small-scale irrigation becomes real thanks to the PV system. In addition, the yields from the aquaponics system and the community garden can improve the food security of the village in the future and become an additional source of income.

The Pankará were actively involved in the implementation of the project. In joint meetings at the village school and at the CCBA in Recife, they helped to shape the project. The young indigenous inhabitants were trained in the subject in particular. The two young engineers Rafaella Brás and Suely Ferraz, as well as Christoph Ostendorf from the CCBA, actively support the project development and implementation.

Atmosfair is covering 89% of the total costs for the procurement of materials and the construction of the PV system.

Our partners

Our project partner, the Centro Cultural Brasil-Alemanha, has been a German-Brazilian cultural centre in Recife since 1991. It develops projects in various fields to strengthen the environmental awareness of the local population and to promote ecological family farming with alternative energies with partners from Brazil and Germany. Director Christoph Ostendorf led the project development and implementation and the training of local villagers. The most important partner is the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco in Serra Talhada. The local professor of agronomy, Prof. Dr. Genival Barros Júnior, supports the two engineers, Rafaella Brás and Suely Ferraz, both graduates of the university in Serra Talhada, for whom the project represents a first major professional challenge.

Your contact at atmosfair

Dr. Hansjörg Zeller
Team Leader New Technologies
+49 (0) 30 120 84 80 - 67