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M-KOPA Solar

M-KOPA Solar provides affordable solar home systems that generate clean energy for low income households.

Facts

 Investee M-KOPA Solar, founded 2011
 Location Kenya, Africa
 Sector Energy
 Funding Start 2012
 Funding type Debt and equity
 Website http://www.m-kopa.com/

 

Impact

More information US President Barack Obama (L) talks with June Muli, head of Customer Care at M-Kopa, about solar power during the Power Africa Innovation Fair, an initiative to increase the number of people with access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, on July 25, 2015 on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations Compound in Nairobi.

Context

Over 63% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population are rural, lower-end consumers with small inconsistent incomes/revenue streams. These masses can barely afford basic goods and services but nevertheless spend up to 70% of their income on inefficient, low-quality goods. About 110 million households across Africa spend USD 160 or more annually on kerosene for lighting despite the poor quality of light provided by kerosene lamps alongside the related health risks of smoke fumes.

Solution

M-KOPA Solar targets low-income consumers, enabling them to purchase productive assets like solar systems through an affordable and convenient pay-per-use system that matches their income and expenditure patterns. M-KOPA’s home solar system seeks to address the energy needs of low-income households. The home solar system will enable households to charge radios, torches and mobile phones without incurring additional costs. Households also have options to add more light bulbs in the provided systems.

Impact depth

M-KOPA Solar aims to reach over 1 million low income households in the upcoming years by providing affordable, fume free, uninterrupted electricity through M-KOPA home solar systems.

M-KOPA Solar improves livelihoods through:

  • Increased disposable incomes: Households are saving an average 347 KSH per week on kerosene, paying someone to charge their phones and buying radio batteries. In addition, some households generate income through getting paid by others to charge their mobile phones.
  • Ownership of assets: Low-income clients can afford to buy solar home systems from savings generated through replacing expensive sources of energy like kerosene.
  • Increased safety: Clients feel safer due to better lighting at night, not using kerosene, having a charged mobile phone and a detachable torch to light way.
  • Reduced environmental pollution: The burning of kerosene is a major pollutant that contributes to global warming through the omission of CO2.
Impact Reach 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
# of household members
with access to a M-KOPA
Solar home system
(in '000s)
19.8 271.8 540.4 850.1 811.2 780.4
% of clients living
below USD 2 per day
n/a 66% 81% 86% 88% 70%
# of active countries 1 2 3 3 3 2

 

As of June 2016, M-KOPA Solar has sold almost 400k devices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana - that is more than half of all pay-as-you-go solar devices sold worldwide. By 2018, M-KOPA Solar aims to have sold 1 Million devices, allowing children to study after dark, businesses to stay open late, while saving thousands of tonnes in CO2 and improving peoples’ health by banning toxic kerosene fumes from their homes and workplaces.

Awards

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Award
2014

Financial Times and IFC
2013

Zayed Future Energy Prize
2015