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Solar Energy for Education and Jobs

myclimate | This carbon offset program implements high-tech solar home systems, including GSM modems, that provide a clean, affordable alternative to fossil fuels for low-income households and small businesses in Africa. The technology effectively reduces carbon emissions thanks to an innovative monitoring approach. The first project activity will be implemented in Kenya.

Project type

Technology-based

Project field

Renewable Energy

Location

Kenya

Price

€22 / tonne

2.5 billion people worldwide live without a reliable electricity source to fill their daily energy needs. They use inefficient and costly fuel-based lighting sources such as kerosene lamps, which greatly curtail their activities once darkness sets in. Mobisol, the programme developer, combines solar energy with innovative mobile technology and microfinance to provide high-tech solar home systems (SHS) to remote households across Africa. The SHSs include a solar panel, battery, lights, as well as a cell phone charger. The systems are currently available in four different sizes meeting the needs of low income households as well as of small enterprises. The smallest unit can light two rooms and charge four mobile phones per day. The largest system powers multiple lights, consumer appliances such as laptops, televisions or solar powered refrigerators and charges up to ten mobile phones simultaneously.

Mobisol provides service for system installation with local trained technicians. Through the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) modem included in the solar controller, technical data concerning the panel, battery and energy consumption can be tracked and monitored by local technicians in a web-based interface. This remote monitoring technology allows potential maintenance problems to be addressed swiftly.

A pay-as-you-go system circumvents the initial investment hurdle for customers who previously could not afford high-quality solar home systems. Using mobile banking the cost can be paid off conveniently via their mobile phones in a microfinanced 36-month installment plan. Customers without a personal bank account can purchase a system and relatives from other locations can help to finance it. Thanks to this modern information and communications technology (ICT) solution, this PoA will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the displacement of fossil fuel use, such as in fuel-based lighting systems and/or stand-alone power generators.

By substituting poor kerosene lamps with strong solar powered LED lights and reliable energy, environmental but also social and economic benefits can be achieved. Taking advantage of longer light hours achieved by the electrification of their houses, beneficiaries can greatly increase their productivity through working in the evening. Carbon finance will be invested in activities that facilitate project scale-up to reach remote locations as well as local partner capacity building, developing marketing and outreach resources, and enhancing distribution channels. The programme has been replicated in Rwanda and Kenya and has further potential in Ghana and other African Countries.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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