Sub-Saharan Africa alone is home of renewable energy supplies yet the average electricity grid access rate is at 20% and further to this just seven out of 54 African countries have electricity energy rates that exceed 50%.
According to a study by the University of Cambridge, dubbed “The future of renewable energy in Africa: challenges and opportunities”, Africa has the potential to source an additional 10 terawatts of solar energy, 1,300 gigawatts of wind power, and 1gigawatts of geothermal potential.
Here are some of the companies that are driving Africa’s renewable energy sector to the next level:
wPOWER (Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables) is a U.S. Department of State and USAID funded project that works to promote the role of women in clean energy entrepreneurship and in addressing climate change.
To date, the wPOWER Partnership has trained 6,639 youth and women in clean energy technologies resulting in over 3 million people having improved access to clean energy globally.
CLASP improves the energy and environmental performance of the appliances & equipment we use every day, accelerating our transition to a more sustainable world.
CLASP serves as the leading international voice and resource for appliance energy efficiency policies and market acceleration initiatives. From advancing the off-grid solar technologies bringing power to energy-impoverished people, to cutting the catastrophic climate impacts of air conditioning, CLASP programs increase uptake of affordable, low-impact, high-quality appliances.
Energy poverty is a critical issue for the development of remote communities in emerging countries. 1.2 billion people worldwide live without access to clean energy, mainly due to high interest on loans and high upfront costs of clean energy solutions.
With TRINE’s digital investment platform people can invest in solar energy projects where it’s needed the most. An investment makes a huge social and environmental impact, while also delivering a return of investment.
Mobisol is a leading German-based international company engineering, developing and delivering rent-to-own solar home and business systems, appliances and services for emerging economies. As Africa’s largest rent-to-own solar service provider by capacity installed, Mobisol is paving the way for the solar revolution in the developing world.
Mobisol has shown a strong and stable growth track record and has, among others, recently been awarded the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Award. In Mobisol aspires to provide clean, reliable electricity to millions of households. After having proven the feasibility of the concept, Mobisol is now moving into the business at a larger scale.
Mobisol is currently working on expansion strategies into further markets and expanding their product portfolio – thereby stimulating economic and social development in developing countries while simultaneously contributing to global environmental protection.
M-Kopa Solar is a Kenyan solar energy company that was founded in 2011 by Nick Hughes, Chad Larson, and Jesse Moore. Headquartered in Nairobi, the company sells home solar systems in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. M-Kopa was launched commercially in 2012 and had connected over 300,000 homes in East Africa to solar power by January 2016.
Off-the-grid household customers pay a deposit to take the solar system home, then pay a daily amount through M-Pesa for a year, after which they own it. In addition to getting solar power, customers also slowly off-set the cost of the device.
Strauss Energy is a Kenya-based manufacturer of energy-generating roofing tiles, or building-integrated photovoltaics. The company tries to attract homeowners with the prospects of making extra income from selling extra power to the grid.
Unlike usual installations, where solar panels are mounted on the roof, Strauss builds roofing tiles that have solar cells instilled into them.
Founded by Samba Bathily, Akon, and Thione Niang, Solektra International is the corporation behind the Akon Lighting Africa initiative. The project alleges to have installed 100,000 solar street lamps and 1,200 solar micro-grids in 15 various countries.
The company has developed numerous solar products, such as the ‘Free Light SOL-SL01A’, an LED light powered by a photovoltaic panel and lithium battery, which aspires to replace traditional oil lamps.
In 2015, Solektra started the Solar Academy in Bamako, Mali. The academy will put up capabilities in the energy space, with the goal of teaching 200 skillful workers, technicians and engineers annually to install and maintain the products.
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