Energy

Affordable solar energy systems

The triumph of affordable solar energy systems in Kenya

Smart new technologies and a reliable source of financing have helped Nairobi-based firm M-KOPA supply affordable and sustainable solar energy systems to more than 50,000 Kenyan households.

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In Kenya, around 6 million households rely on offgrid energy sources such as kerosene or wood to power lamps and cooking stoves. These fuels are expensive – 20% of low-income households’ annual budgets – and a health risk. Solar energy, on the other hand, is brighter, safer and, ultimately, cheaper.

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Previously, the high purchase of solar energy systems had limited take-up in Kenya. To address this, M-KOPA developed an affordable financing model for low-income households. Its home energy system costs around USD 200, covered by a USD 30 deposit and USD 0.50 daily payments for a year.

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The M-KOPA solar home energy system comprises a small solar panel, a control box, three light sources and a socket to charge appliances – an important feature in a country where around 93% of the adult population uses mobile phones.

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Most Kenyan households are used to paying for energy on a regular basis so meeting M-KOPA’s daily payments (via their mobile phones) is not a major challenge. Once clients have completed their payments, they own the solar system outright and can benefit from the free electricity it generates.

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Affordable new technologies mean that dim, flickering and smoking kerosene lamps – which fill the air with soot and occasionally cause outbreaks of fire – can be replaced by clean, bright, safe solar lighting.

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Affordable solar lighting makes it easier to read a book, cook the evening meal and help the children with their homework.

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M-KOPA is committed to continuing its rapid growth and wants to reach 1 million households in Kenya by 2018. To do this, M-KOPA needs continued access to debt capital, including a means of funding product development, and is delighted to have been working with responsAbility since 2013.1

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Find out more about how M-KOPA’s energy solutions are improving the lives of families in Kenya by watching a short film or reading the 2014 issue of ‘Perspectives’.

Find out more about how M-KOPA’s energy solutions are improving the lives of families in Kenya by watching a short film or reading the 2014 issue of ‘Perspectives’.

Find out more about how M-KOPA’s energy solutions are improving the lives of families in Kenya by watching a short film or reading the 2014 issue of ‘Perspectives’.

1 reponsAbility Investments AG is not an investor and does neither provide direct nor indirect financing. The mentioned investments in the specific markets, countries, companies, institutions, instruments, or sectors are exclusively transacted by the investment vehicles managed or advised by responsAbility Investments AG.