Living in remote villages in Africa is not an easy thing as about 585 million people still don’t have access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, only about 14.2% of people in rural areas use electricity in their homes. Even those who have access to grid power still go for days without electricity relying on candles, kerosene and battery torches.

This is the reason many companies are installing in Africa to offer solar-powered solutions. One of such companies is Azuri Technologies, which provides PayGo solar systems to areas that don’t have access to grid power in Africa. The system provides homes with clean and safe renewable energy which is about half the cost of kerosene that is used by many families. It is made in such a way that it learns the consumer’s electricity usage as well as monitors climatic conditions. This is to ensure that the stored solar power is used efficiently.

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 According to Azuri’s CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth, the “standalone solar home systems run until the power stored from sunshine during the day is exhausted, and then switch off.” “In poor weather, this may mean lighting time is reduced to just a few hours, forcing customers to revert to traditional means, such as harmful kerosene,” he continued.

Azuri uses a “Pay-as-you-go” and “rent-to-buy” schemes to help homes pay for the entire cost of the kit over a specified period of time where the customer fully owns it. According to Bransfield-Grath, the entire cost of the unit can be paid off in 18 months. “Over the course of typically 18 months, the purchase of top-up pays off the cost of the solar home system,” he said.

Azuri’s model is out to solve energy problems in rural areas as well as eliminating the use of kerosene, disposable batteries and candles. It has as objective to eliminate the use of kerosene for lighting and to offer clean and cheap power to remote areas in Africa to enable users realize opportunities and aspirations.

The kit saves up to 50% of power every week and a total of 85% of its customers previously used kerosene lamps. The system has also reduced time spent on collecting wood to burn as well as time used for charging phones in the market.

Azuri was launched in Kenya and has expanded to other African countries. As of now they have sold about 80,000 solar systems for homes.

Source(s): Azuri Technologies, BBC | Photo credit: Azuri Technologies