CAMBRIDGE, U.K. – A UK-based company, Azuri Technologies, has manufactured and developed IndiGo solar kits that provide electricity to many of the world’s poor. Every IndiGo kit contains 3-watt solar panels, a battery, two LED lamps, a phone-charging unit, and connection cables. Each kit costs a total of 10,000-shilling (about $120) but they are sold using an installment system. This makes it available to people with modest incomes because it only requires a payment of 120 shillings ($1.40) a week for 80 weeks. It also proves that investing in developing nations can be profitable for businesses.
The solar kits replace the use of kerosene lamps in many homes in Kenya. Not only are kerosene lamps expensive, but they also bear health risks. Timothy Nyongesa, who just bought an IndiGo kit, talks about how his children complain of eye irritation from the lamps. He also realizes that kerosene lamps can be hazardous to breathing, and with almost 15 children, Nyongesa is glad to start using clean solar energy. Kerosene lamps are also hazardous to the climate. The British Air Transport Association calculates each ton of kerosene burned produces 3.15 tons of carbon dioxide, which is the greenhouse gas mainly responsible for climate change.
Azuri Technologies was recently named the winner of the 2013 Ashden Awards due to its work through the IndiGo solar kits. The Ashden Awards are considered the world’s leading green energy prize. The award considers companies and organizations that have made great strides in creating sustainable energy and tackling climate change. While IndiGo has made great progress, Azuri leaders know there are still many who do not have access to clean energy.
“It has been tremendous to see the appetite for IndiGo,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of Azuri Technologies. “At the same time, we are acutely aware of the scale of problem we are attempting to tackle and so all our effort is on growing to reach as many customers as possible.”
Currently one man in Kenya, Edward Namasaka, sells IndiGo. However, Namasaka says he has identified at least five more traders in different regions of Kenya interested in supplying the kits. IndiGo kits are a great way to begin providing clean energy use to the poor in Kenya as well as the world’ poor.
– Catherine Ulrich
Sources: AllAfrica, Alertnet, CBC
Photo: National Geographic