When Covid-19 hit his small solar engineering business, chief executive Methode Maniraguha said: ‘No furloughs or layoffs – we’ll pivot.’
The solar home system company, which enables customers to pay their solar electricity bill through an app on their mobile on a PAYG basis, has conducted a monumental funding round as it eyes expansion to become a fully-fledged pay-as-you-go utility.
The off-grid solar system supplier has received the finance in Rwandan francs to mitigate currency risk and expand operations in its biggest market.
Topping off a great week for the British next generation utility platform, BBOXX won the Zayed Energy Prize after receiving funding from the Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers fund to speed up roll out of its platform in Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two companies have installed systems in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide a cheap, secure energy supply. BloombergNEF has predicted the market for off-grid solar will grow considerably as it can meet the needs for universal energy supply at a cost competitive price.
Wifi hotspots powered by PV will bring internet access to remote communities for the first time under a scheme run by a ‘next generation utility’ which hopes to expand to provide more conventional utility services in future.
Gogla has released a report showing the positive economic effects of deploying small-scale pay-as-you-go solar systems in off-grid regions. More than half of the survey’srespondents reported having increased economic activity, with many of those starting new businesses or significantly increasing their household income.
Solar-powered minigrids could account for a greater slice of sub-Saharan Africa’s $740 million off-grid market, but progress is still needed throughout the region in terms of policy, financing and commercial services, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) says in a new report.
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