Pay-as-you-go solar solutions are continuing to have an impact in off-grid communities. Competition amongst suppliers is also heating up with U.S. provider d.light’s strong sales of its D30 Pay-Go solar home system. Since its launch in October, d.light has registered 120,00 unit sales of its D30 Pay-Go product.
A number of configurations of the d.light D30 package are available. It can include a solar panel, mobile phone charger, solar lighting, light switches, a torch and an FM radio. The solutions provided vary depending on the country, but in most cases the system is sold by way of a deposit and subsequent payment installments.
Payments can be made using a wide variety of mobile platforms. As long as the payments are made on time, the D30 device remains unlocked. Once paid in full, the Pay-Go solar home system is unlocked forever and customers then own their systems.
Due to its ability to operate like personal power grid for homes and small businesses, d.light claims its D30 system has gained widespread acceptance in low-income rural parts of the world, making it possible for the people to switch from costly kerosene and enjoy the advantages of sustainable power supply.
Of the 120,000 D30 Pay-Go sales, d.light reports that “almost all” have been made in East Africa, with the highest penetration being in Kenya. d.light says it is operating in 10 countries in Africa and Asia.
The rapid take-up of d-light’s off-grid systems has been enabled by the company’s success in garnering investments. Namely, only in the period September-December 2016, the company managed to accumulate $40 million in capital and debt funding, used to ramp up its Pay-Go financing options.
According to the company, sales continue to grow exponentially with 800 new households registered daily.
Given that off-grid solar energy is particularly popular in Africa, being one of the areas that lack reliable access to electricity while having abundant solar potential, d.light was included in the list of eight companies that won the $4 million in funding from the U.S. government agency USAID during the UN Climate conference (COP 22) in Morocco, where they were tasked with a mission to revolutionize the household solar power across the continent.
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