There is a common problem with most renewable sources of energy – customers are used to paying for energy as they use it but for renewables, the cost is all up front in the purchase price. This puts technologies such as wind turbines or traditional solar beyond the reach of many users.
Eight19 continues a close working relationship with Azuri Technologies which provides a key route to market for Eight19 into high volume off-grid applications through its Indigo pay-as-you-go solar solution.
Indigo combines mobile phone technology with solar technology allowing customers to buy scratchcards to pay for their energy, just as they would for their mobile phones. Customers are able to charge their mobile phone and have 8 hours of clean lighting for two rooms, whilst saving money – some of which can pay for the next Indigo scratchcard. Indigo has a transformational impact from day one. In Kenya, Indigo deployments are so cost-effective that users spend half as much on their Indigo solutions that they previously did on kerosene.
But this is only half the story. Today a user may purchase an entry-level Indigo system capable of lighting 2 rooms and charging one mobile phone. But over time, that person’s requirements will grow. They may want more lights, to power a radio or TV or even power a sewing machine to enable them to make more money. Indigo grows with these needs allowing customers to ride the Indigo Energy Escalator by which products are progressively upgraded over time to grow from simple systems to full home electrification.
Eight19's new generation of low cost, lightweight and flexible solar technology is ideally suited to the hardships of off-grid markets.
Earlier this year, Eight19 began organic solar trials in Africa and it is envisaged that real-world data will accelerate product deployment.
Read more about the Off-grid challenge