REPIC_LogoSchriftzug_120.png

Solafrica - Cameroon

Solar Square: A Community‐based Distribution and Leasing System for Pico‐powered Solar Lighting Systems

 

Contract: 2015.01
Photovoltaics

Solar Square: A Community‐based Distribution and Leasing System for Pico‐powered Solar Lighting Systems

Project Type :

Pilot Project

 

Technology :

Photovoltaics

Country :

Cameroon

 

Project Status :

Completed

Project Start :

February 2015

 

End of Project :

October 2018

Partners :

Solafrica, Bern, http://solafrica.ch, Elias Kost, Joel Jeanloz
Antenna Foundation Switzerland www.antenna.ch, taktwerk GmbH www.taktwerk.ch

Solafrica_180214 Zogoume (76) - Copie_web.jpg
© Solafrica
  Solafrica_IMG_1509_web.jpg
© Solafrica

Swiss Contribution

Solafrica is a Non-Government Organization (NGO), which was founded in Bern, Switzerland in 2009. Its main objective is solar energy and energy efficiency promotion in Africa. Antenna Foundation Switzerland is the most important partner regarding technological development. They have developed the innovative portable mini solar system Oolux; designed to meet the needs of the people living in off-grid areas. The company taktwerk GmbH planned and developed the ICT solution.

Description

More than half of the population in Cameroon has no access to the electricity grid. Thus, people have to rely on traditional and low-technology options to light homes and charge mobile phones. With this project, Solafrica wanted to ensure access to clean and cost-effective off-grid solar energy by developing a community-based leasing and distribution system. The pilot phase permitted to examine the feasibility of the system and provided a basis for decision-making, in order to continue the project. The program involved the Swiss partners, a local company, as well as the village shops and their customers.

Results

1,100 solar kits that were sold provide light for about 6,000 people. Advantages (such as improved health, access to electricity and financial savings) for the users have been observed. More light is visible in the villages at night. It is estimated that each lamp prevents between 0.355 and 1 ton of CO2 emissions per year. The technical ICT solution for leasing the Oolux lamp was developed. Three different business and sustainable distribution models were tested, as well.

Impact

The model of relying on the cocoa cooperatives’ network for solar lamp sales has been identified as the most promising. Besides Cameroon, it has also begun to be implemented in Mali and Burkina Faso. More and more cooperatives say they want to be integrated in the solar lamp distribution network that Antenna has been set up in this project. Valuable lessons learned and recommendations for projects in a similar market are available in the final report.

Documentation

The “Solar Square” final report is available at: www.repic.ch. Additional reports „D-Lab Final Report“ and „OOLUX Greenhouse Gas Report“. The project’s video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/AY7jiWNDgWI.