100,000 off-grid households to be hooked to pay-as-you go solar systems



About 100,000 off-grid households in rural Ghana will be hooked to a pay-as-you go solar systems from today, April 21.

The initiative expected to be launched in Ghana?s capital Accra is being led by UK firm Azuri Technologies with support from local firm Oasis African Resources and the Ghana government.

The project will deploy Azuri?s ?Quad? system, which combines a solar panel with a battery and intelligent smart meter into a unit that powers four LED lamps, mobile phone charging and a radio/MP3 player.

The systems will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis, with weekly fees set at a rate that will make them cheaper than the current household spend on mobile phone charging and kerosene for lighting, according to Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth.

?It?s essentially a rent-to-own business model where the price customers pay for their renting is less than the cost of the kerosene and the mobile phone charger they?re replacing. So it?s net-free to the end consumer and they get the extra benefit that in the next 18 months or two years? time they own it,? Bransfield-Garth told PV Tech ahead of the project launch.

Bransfield-Garth said Azuri?s long-term intention was that customers would eventually upgrade their systems to ones large enough to power appliances such as televisions and the internet, thereby giving rural communities the opportunity to access the knowledge economy.

?The idea is to try to reduce the growing disconnect between what?s available in urban areas and rural environments,? he said. ?The internet has the potential to be quite a leveller across those as it reduces the trend of urban migration where people typically move into slums in large cities and are probably worse off than they were in the rural areas.

?If you can reverse that a bit ? if you can bring access to the knowledge economy to rural communities there are huge opportunities for advancement,? he said.

Azuri?s decentralised solar systems are already available in 11 African countries, and Bransfield-Garth said he hoped the project in Ghana would herald the deployment of ?substantial? numbers beyond the 100,000 planned in this project.

Source: starrfmonline.com

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