Quartz Africa: The world’s most cutting-edge renewable tech is powering rural Africa

//Quartz Africa: The world’s most cutting-edge renewable tech is powering rural Africa

Cassie Werber reports on how The World’s most cutting-edge renewable tech is powering rural Africa’ for Quartz, interviewing Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth.

Read extracts from Cassie Werber’s article:

“Distributed power—where electricity is generated locally, instead of delivered via complex grid infrastructure—makes lots of sense for Africa. About 600 million Africans don’t have electricity. But sunlight is a widely available resource across most of the continent, making distributed solar power one of the more sensible options for electrification. Plenty of companies see the potential. This has made parts of Africa a testing ground for cutting-edge solar power. Some countries are developing a whole new type of infrastructure not seen elsewhere in the world: mobile-phone-led, flexible, and controlled by the user rather than big utilities and government.”

“We are now seeing the first innovation where the leading technologies are actually being deployed in Africa, not being deployed in the mainstream West. Power from the panels is paid for by mobile phone or scratchcard. The payments also serve as instalments towards owning the system outright. After about 18 months the homeowner has typically paid off the cost of the panels, or can buy them for a very small sum (say, $5).

We’re putting together a product that’s got the latest LED lights, it’s got lithium iron phosphate batteries which are similar to the batteries you get in Tesla supercars, we’ve got adaptive smart metering inside the product, and we’ve got artificial intelligence in the product, And these are in $50 solar home systems that are sitting in rural Africa. And I compare that to the room I’m sitting in right now [in England], where light is controlled by two bits of wire and a mechanical switch and has been for 150 years.” – Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth. Ultra-efficient LED lighting and device charging, utilising cutting-edge battery technology.

“Azuri has installed about 60,000 systems so far in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and others. In November, it was recognized by the UN as one of 16 companies genuinely making a difference in the quest to halt climate change. Compare these state-of-the-art systems to the often arduous process of getting solar panels installed on a home in Europe or America, and it becomes clear that Africa is not only a massive market for off-grid solar, but the leading one.”

Read the full article at Quartzafrica.com

About Quartz Africa

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012, for business people in the new global economy. We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview, built primarily for the devices closest at hand: tablets and mobile phones.

Read more at www.qz.com

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