Rural Africa Gains New Solar Power Gear

Econet Solar is launching a new product with the goal of providing stable, off-grid electricity in rural areas of the globe, namely Africa. The company has unveiled The Home Power Station in hopes that it can begin providing power to the estimated 70 percent of  Africans that don’t have a source of electricity.

The Home Power Station uses a solar panel to charge a battery which provides enough juice for four lights and a cell phone charger. But the most interesting thing about the system is the way people pay for their power. It is said to be the first solar power system that is paid for via pre-paid cell phone.  An estimated 96 percent of  of mobile subscriptions in Africa are on a pre-paid, or pay as you go basis.

image via Econet Solar

Product trials for the system will begin in the next few weeks in a number of countries, with commercial availability expected  in the first half of 2012. Eventually, Econet sees the product serving homes of all sizes, in addition to businesses. The company says the product is fully scalable.

The Econet Solar Home Power Station comes with  four LED lights, a Home Power Station controller, a battery, a solar panel, cabling and a cell phone charger. It has been designed to light up to four rooms for as many as five hours a day using only the power of the sun.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.

    • Anonymous

      Solar energy has been and will always be the most cost effectiveu00a0wayu00a0tou00a0power rural areas and foru00a0free. A great idea will always sell well especially when there is a need for it in the market.nnNot only does the Econet provide lighting power but it makes it easy on the users to reduceu00a0their financialu00a0burden. Regardless of the cost the gadgetu00a0the payback period and the expected lifeu00a0are what makes the renewable solar energy so interesting.nnhttp://renewable-solar-energy.blogspot.com

    • Tjsetter

      What will it cost?? Will it work in Karagwe, Tanzania??