Battery rental company gets boost to power West African communities
CAPE TOWN - The Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) has invested £1 million (R20.74 million) into a renewables powered battery rental company targeting off-grid communities in West Africa.
According to a statement issued by the organisation, the platform is funded by the UK government’s International Climate Finance.
The UK-based Mobile Power was set up in 2013 to serve the needs of end-users who are underserved by existing rural electrification models in the region.
The company explained that it currently has operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
According to REPP, Mobile Power is set for rapid expansion, with plans to enter the Nigerian market next year while supporting various existing partnership projects in Uganda, Zambia and the Gambia.
Through Mobile Power’s innovative rental model, customers are able to rent smart 50Wh lithium-ion batteries at a low cost and in 24-hour increments.
The model allows for customers to make payments either in cash or using mobile money, making the service inclusive of those without mobile money or areas with a weak phone signal. The product requires no consumer debt or long-term commitment.
Geoff Sinclair, managing director of REPP’s investment manager, Camco Clean Energy, said: “Providing affordable energy access to some of the world’s poorest communities is a huge challenge for developers, but one that must be overcome if we are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
According to the World Bank, access to electricity in West Africa is at 52 percent, with shortages of up to 80 hours per month, yet electricity in the region remains among the costliest in the world, at $0.25 per kilowatt-hour, more than twice the global average.
African News Agency