Africa is home to almost a billion population. Despite the big numbers, the continent faces a serious issue—lack of energy. More than 652 million people live without power in their households. It is an ironic fact as Africa has an immense of natural resources, including the wind and wave power. Furthermore, compared to other continents, Africa has more solar resources as it is the sunniest continent in the world.
Energy is one of the most essential elements to cut down poverty and improve economic growth. Other vital sectors such as technology, education, agriculture, and communication need greater and more cost-effective energy for the development of the African continent.
Renewable energy has big potential to address the challenges facing Africa while at the same time improve the lives of the people on the continent. Currently, there are many companies and startups are venturing into renewable energy technology.
Here are 10 startups in Africa that specialize in renewable energy:
- M-KOPA Solar (Kenya) – M-KOPA Solar offers affordable and high-quality solar home systems to low-income communities. It allows them to pay in instalments of a year course via mobile money, M-Pesa.
- Mobile Solar Cell Phone Kiosk (Rwanda) – An alternative solar-powered mobile kiosk founded by Henri Nyakarundi. The kiosk enables people to charge phones up to 80 phones and even can be towed by a bicycle.
- Shakti Energy (South Africa) – It provides safer lighting solutions to off-grid communities in rural areas of South Africa. Its solutions are Nuru Lights – portable LED-powered lights that cost $8.
- Off Grid Electric (Tanzania) – It provides solar power solutions to thousands of households in Tanzania. Its solutions include a solar panel and a lithium-ion battery that provides electricity around the clock. It is low-cost and environmentally-friendly that can be used as an alternative for lighting, cooking, and phone charging.
- Freedom Won (South Africa) – It provides clean energy and electric vehicle solutions which is better known for its electric vehicle technology. The startup mostly built electrical vehicles for wildlife tourism lodges and game drives in the parks across SA.
- Mobisol (Germany) – It offers home solar systems for African costumers using a mobile phone payment plan. It is affordable and innovative used to power LED lights, radios, mobile phones, TVs, and other various household appliances systems.
- African Clean Energy (Lesotho) – It develops the ACE1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove that reduces about 70% of fuel use and saves 50% of the cost. The technology can significantly improve the lives of women in children in Africa who cook using dangerous fuel.
- iCoal Concept Ltd. (Kenya) – It transforms waste from charcoal industry and processes it into modern energy. It provides charcoal-based briquettes that are much cheaper than regular charcoal.
- Quaint Global Energy Solutions (Nigeria) – It develops renewable power projects and provides solar energy solutions to rural communities in Nigeria. In 2015, it was listed among the Forbes’ Five African Cleantech startups.
- Solar Turtle (South Africa) – It is a unique solar battery charging station provided for poor and rural communities in South Africa. The Solar Turtle is a shipping container that charge batteries inside recycled bottles which were invented by James van der Walt.