UK companies are leading players in the African off-grid sector, combining solar and mobile phone technology in order to provide affordable power for the 600 million people that still lack access to grid electricity. According to the report, some 5 million of these pay-as-you-go solar home systems have been sold in the last 4 years and this figure is accelerating with over one million such systems sold in the first 6 months of 2019.
“Given the ability of solar-fintech solutions to deliver power to African households along with the affordable financing to pay for it, solar could be the breakthrough technology that finally connects Africa’s vast off-grid communities,” says the report. “The combination of solar and fintech is driving an economic transformation in Africa, making the ‘unbankable’ bankable and embedding African consumers in the digital economy.”
Energy is one of the key requirements for African countries where fewer than one in two people are connected to the grid. UK-based solar tech firm Azuri Technologies, which commissioned the repor and is one of the recent CleanTech 100 list, provides off-grid solar power that enables households to access modern digital technologies such as TV and the Internet without the need for a grid connection. It has linked off-grid solar withenergy energy-efficient smart TVs, rechargeable radios, satellite entertainment, internet access and a range of other appliances and services to bring modern digital technology to off-grid households. Through its network of African partners and distributors, Azuri currently employs more than 5,000 people across Africa and is planning further expansion across sub-Saharan Africa in 2020.
“For African countries, energy is a critical need to support rapid economic development. Solar power has the ability to reach the most isolated households and deliver life changing technology that connects homes to the modern digital economy,” said Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth.
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