Solar for Africa Blog
The electric light bulb was invented in the 19th century, yet here we are in the 21st with over 600 million people in Africa forced to light their homes with dangerous, outdated, technologies such as candles and kerosene lamps. This is unacceptable for so many reasons. This site is all how the pico-solar revolution is changing the situation.

The Economist | Solar lighting: Lighting the way

This is the best opening summary about the picosolar sector I have seen…and it’s from The Economist. I have nothing to add to these lines: (Full Article Here)

WHICH plastic gadget, fitting neatly in one hand, can most quickly improve the lives of the world’s poorest people? For the past decade the answer has been clear: the mobile phone. But over the next decade it will be the solar-powered lamp, made up of a few light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a solar panel and a small rechargeable battery, encased in a durable plastic shell. Just as the spread of mobile phones in poor countries has transformed lives and boosted economic activity, solar lighting is poised to improve incomes, educational attainment and health across the developing world.

As previously happened with mobile phones, solar lighting is falling in price, improving in quality and benefiting from new business models that make it more accessible and affordable to those at the bottom of the pyramid. And its spread is sustainable because it is being driven by market forces, not charity.

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2 Responses to “The Economist | Solar lighting: Lighting the way”

  1. The Economist article was encouraging. However, the real hurdle is going to be getting the upper middle class to purchase solar items. They are the key to making solar products regular household items on the continent. The upper middle class will be the distributors of these items. A business model of trying to sell to the poor is simply not going to work in Africa.

    • Interesting comment. I agree that one key hurdle is getting the upper middle class to opt for solar.

      What can I say in response to your comment ‘A business model of trying to sell to the poor is simply not going to work in Africa,’ other than… We’re proving you wrong. We’ve sold over 180,000 solar lights in rural Africa to low income, rural, households in this financial year alone.


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