A COMMUNITY-BASED CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTION IN ZAMBIA: A SOLAR CONTAINER TO PROVIDE SOLAR POWER AND RELATED SERVICES TO SECLUDED OFF-GRID VILLAGES
February 2020 by Danae Motta
|In the fishing village of Nsombo, in Northern Zambia, access to energy is limited and continuously interrupted. The only infrastructures which have electricity are the local school and the houses for students and teachers, which are powered by diesel generators to provide at least some lighting at night. As Nsombo is a five hours bus drive (or one day with a bycicle), the provision of diesel for the generator is expensive and scarce, leaving the village with almost no power at all.|
|In May 2019, MPower Ventures deployed in Nsombo its first containerized solution: the EnergyHUB. The HUB is a fully connected, mobile, Plug&Play solar container acting as charging station for small solar generators.|
The batteries provide lighting, enable the charging of mobile phones and power TVs and other energy-efficient appliances. There, the local villagers can come and rent out these batteries for a small fee, as well as purchase MPower’s energy-efficient appliances. The HUB provides 10kW of photovoltaic power, and other than charging solar batteries, it is also a meeting center for the community, where they can enjoy a refreshing drink or using the printing station installed in the container.
The EnergyHUB is locally run and created so far four full-time jobs and positively impacted more than 500 people through its energy services. Click here to see a short clip about our energy hub.
The HUB in Zambia is the first of many more: MPower has already deployed its second village hub in Bodze in Togo, which was assembled locally, ensuring further job creation.
|Bodze in Togo, an off-grid village and place of MPower’s 2nd Energy Hub||Yann, engineer and intern at MPower with the hair cutter trainees that have now an employment thanks to the Hub.|
|The HUB is part of an Innovation Project with REPIC, the Swiss institution for the promotion of renewable energy in emerging markets. Furthermore, the company was recently granted with a federal loan guarantee from the Technology Fund, which supports Swiss companies whose products or processes enable a sustainable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and is supported by InnoEnergy, among others.|
Manuel Seiffe, Co-Founder & CEO, +41 79 175 52 02
MPower Ventures AG, c/o South Pole, Technoparkstrasse 1, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland