At the beginning of 2017, CDC made a $12 million equity investment into one of Africa’s fastest pay as you go solar energy companies M-KOPA.
M-KOPA currently provides off-grid energy to 500,000 low-income homes in Kenya and Uganda. It involves base access to lighting, and electronics charging TV and radio on daily mobile money payment plans that cost less than the typical kerosene used in low-income areas.
However, local currency debt funding is the news of the day, which will help the company install solar panels on a further one million homes, which will cost around $20 million and is part of an association of lenders, providing $80 million, which will make the project the largest commercial debt facility in the off-grid sector.
More lights, TVs, energy efficient cooking stoves, smart phones and water tanks will be available to M-KOPA customers who complete their payment plans. Over 160,000 units have been sold to date by the company, which includes 90,000 Solar TVs. Customers will be able to enjoy 62.5 million hours per month of kerosene-free lighting, which estimates calculate will save over 600,000 tones of CO2 over a period of four years.
M-KOPA customers who complete their payment plans are able to upgrade for more lights, TVs, energy-efficient cooking stoves, smart phones and water tanks. The company has sold well over 160,000 upgrade units to date – including 90,000 Solar TVs. M-KOPA customers currently enjoy over 62.5 million hours of kerosene-free lighting per month and on current estimates will save over 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over four years.
Welcoming the announcement, CEO Nick O’Donohoe said: “M-KOPA is a remarkable company transforming lives in East Africa by providing affordable energy, financial inclusion and essential products for low-income households. It empowers its customers economically, improves people’s health and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Our equity and debt investments are aimed at helping the company build on its success and reach many more of the 600 million people across Africa who currently live without electricity.”