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 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.
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.
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.
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.