Africa’s energy sector faces four inter-related challenges: insufficient installed capacity; limited last mile distribution; poor reliability; and high costs. Only 14% of Africans living in rural areas have access to electricity, leaving more than 500 million people without access. Building commercially viable models that expand access to affordable off-grid energy is critical.

Luckily, advances in solar technology and innovative financing schemes are accelerating access to energy for many poor and rural households. This is particularly true in Sub-Saharan Africa where a wave of entrepreneurs is enabling access to electricity through financed home solar systems and microgrids that people pay for over time.


M-KOPA Solar

M-KOPA Solar offers residential solar systems on an innovative, affordable micro-leasing platform, with an initial US$35 deposit, followed by 365 daily payments of 45 cents. After completing the payments, customers own a world-class solar home system, with multiple lights, phone charging and a radio, and can finance additional product assets and lifestyle products such as television, bicycle, smart phone, energy efficient cook stove and water tank.

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Powergen renewable energy

Powergen is an energy service company powering homes, small businesses and communities through solar micro-grids in East Africa. The customer centric model sells power on a pay-as-you-go basis. It has become a leader in the micro-grid sector since launch in 2011. PowerGen is now developing into a full private utility.

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BURN is revolutionising the clean cookstove sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2013, BURN has sold hundreds of thousands of cookstoves, improving the environment and saving consumers over $50M in charcoal costs. 

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responsability Energy access fund

The responsAbility Energy Access Fund is an open-ended investment vehicle with the objective of providing debt financing between USD 500,000 and 3 million to entities which operate across the entire renewable energy sector value chain. The growth of these small- and medium- sized enterprises is critical to catalysing energy access for low income households at scale.

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