The African region is well endowed with numerous renewable energy resources but most remain under utilised. The continent receives mores sunlight than any other region in the world, which makes solar power a key energy source and there are different projects harnessing solar energy being rolled-out across the region.
One such project is being offered by a solar company which is selling 500 new systems each day across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. M-Kopa says it’s targeting to connect “one million homes by the end of 2017,” in east Africa.
According to Jesse Moore, Managing Director and Co-Founder, it took the company two years to connect its first 100,000 homes and just eight months to connect its second 100,000 homes.
The company uses “pay-as-you-go” system to provide energy to off grid homes, through an annual payment plan. To access the service, customers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, pay an initial “deposit of $35, followed by 365 daily payments of 43 cents – paid using your mobile money service,” according to the company website. The full payment amounts to $192 and after completion of the payment package, customers own their system outright.
The company’s battery-powered 8W system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio.
Reports suggest that about 640 million Africans lack access to electricity. The affordable solar initiatives being rolled-out across Africa could help to spur development, tackle poverty and boost job creation.