Energy

Decentralized, Micro-Financed Solar Power

Solar electricity paid for via a mobile payment system enables users to sustainably power devices in areas without access to a electricity grid.  With systems ranging in size from 80 watts to power seven LED lights and a radio, to 200 watts capable of charging phones, powering a fridge and lights, Mobisol aims to cater for a wide range of consumer needs. They have also designed business specific kits, with appliances such as a barber’s hair clipper and educational materials on topics such as bookkeeping. The household solar systems are connected to a battery to power devices in the evenings.

“Mobisol aspires to provide clean, robust, and reliable solar electricity to off-grid households.”

Thomas GottschalkCEO, Mobisol

Mobisol systems come with an extended warranty and a full service package for three years, which includes free maintenance of the systems. Through an integrated GSM modem, technical data are tracked and monitored in a web-based interface, enabling technicians to identify problems and make repairs within 48 hours.

Why you should care

The electrification rate in rural Africa is around 15% to 20%. The high cost of grid extension is a barrier to increasing electricity access to remote rural households. These households rely on noxious kerosene for lighting and diesel generators for appliances. Mobisol’s own field research has shown that households can save up to 50% of their lighting expenses by using solar electricity instead of kerosene. Mobisol’s system addresses the two main bottlenecks for off-grid energy: a lack of micro-payment methods and the lack of access to the long-term loans needed to purchase a high-quality and reliable home solar system.

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