SolarAid partners with Eight19 in 'pay-as-you-go' solar trial
SolarAid is thrilled to be working with Eight19, a technology innovator specialising in solar electricity for off-grid applications, on an exciting trial in Kenya.
With SolarAid's support, Cambridge-based Eight19, are trialling an affordable, smart power solution called IndiGo.
Indigo is a pay-as-you-go, personal solar electricity system designed for the developing world - and very much in line with SolarAid's vision of putting affordable, small-scale solar products in the hands of the poorest communities in Africa.
Eight19 have combined solar and mobile phone technology to create the IndiGo system - it's inexpensive to buy and allows users to light their homes and charge their mobile phones as a service, paid for using scratchcards.
Thanks to the work of SolarAid and other players in the sector over the last few years, solar lights and phone chargers have been available for some time across Africa, but the initial cost is beyond the reach of many potential customers. By offering solar power as a service, without high purchase costs, these customers can now access clean electricity for less than their current spend on kerosene. But more than this, the availability of affordable electricity stimulates social and economic development too.
The IndiGo system consists of a low-cost solar panel, a battery unit with in-built mobile phone charger and a high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) lamp. Users put credit on their IndiGo device using a scratchcard, which is validated over SMS using a standard mobile phone. With customer trials now underway in Kenya, and soon be expanded into over countries over the next three months, SolarAid and Eight19 are full of optimism about what this means for the 1.6 billion people in the world currently living without access to grid-connected power.
SolarAid's CEO, Steve Andrews says:
'We are excited to be working with Eight19 on this revolutionary technology. Solar energy offers huge economic, health and social benefits to the world's poorest people; for lighting and mobile phone charging. Eight19's technology opens up these benefits to many more people. This is a major breakthrough.'
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