TECHNOVATION: Pay-as-you-go solar power makes strides in Kenya

Part of the thought behind M-KOPA is to uproot the utilization of kerosene as an energy source and support the uptake of sunlight based as an option.

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play M-KOPA Solar – the word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-founded business that has pioneered the thought of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa. (StartUpHook.com)
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Mobile phones in Kenya are more than just a tool for communication.

Mobiles devices became almost a necessity for any Kenyan following the boom of mobile money services in the country, but it seems another near-unique way to use the handheld-devices is cropping in the country.

Cellphones are changing the way men and women utilize energy.

M-KOPA Solarthe word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-founded business that has pioneered the thought of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa.

The inspiration at the back of the trade is centered on harnessing the wide use of mobile money payments in Africa. The enterprise there may be already tremendous: Nigeria situated cell payments organization Paga has greater than 2.4 million patrons, to present one illustration.

play A food vendor in Kisumu cooking by solar-powered light. (Bloomberg)

 

M-KOPA users are given a solar system, after paying a deposit of close to $35, to install at their houses. Utilizing a payment method on their mobilephone – which could also be anything from a high of the variety Samsungs to an older, much less subtle Nokia – they then top it up every day to the tune of around 45 cents with a view to get power.

According to M-KOPA, GSM sensors are positioned within the solar methods to observe and keep an eye on usage based upon repayments. After one year of regular payments, users acquire full ownership of the sunlight approach and have access to free energy.

play Customers, small-scale businesses, food vendors, and mobile phone scratch card and money-transfer agents are benefiting from solar lights to conduct economic activities after sunset. (Bloomberg)

 

"after they own it then the energy is free. Our industry… in actual fact offers them enhancements for extra energy," Jesse Moore, co-founder and Managing Director of M-KOPA Solar told CNBC.com in an interview.

The organization's site expresses that more than 10,000 portable installments are made by clients on its cloud stage, M-KOPAnet, consistently.

Part of the thought behind M-KOPA is to uproot the utilization of kerosene as an energy source and support the uptake of sunlight based as an option.

The impacts of kerosene use in the home can harm to individuals' wellbeing, bringing on a scope of issues including dermatitis. "Kerosene as a lighting fuel is extremely dangerous and unhealthy," Moore said.

play The organization's most recent model, the M-KOPA III, has an eight watt sun oriented board, two LED lights, a USB telephone charger, and a compact, sun powered controlled radio. (CNBC)

 

"Kerosene sticks around because… even though it's 'expensive', it's affordable. Affordability in this context means 'I can buy what I need to get through today, then tomorrow I can buy it again'," he added. "Our mission is to save our customers money."

M-KOPA's business dispatch was in late 2012. The organization's most recent model, the M-KOPA III, has an eight watt sun oriented board, two LED lights, a USB telephone charger, and a compact, sun powered controlled radio.

"We believe we've developed a proposition which has global potential… [but] our core focus is East Africa and we're still really just getting started here," Moore said.

Today, the organization says that it has brought sun oriented energy to more than 150,000 family units in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Also, with numerous groups over the world off lattice and lacking access to perfect, renewable and moderate energy, the potential for a plan of action such as M-KOPA's is inconceivable.



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