Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya have partnered to bring a pay-as-you-go solar home system to off-grid homes in Kenya. Unilever’s Kenya distribution network has about 67,000 traders that can help Azuri’s Quad solar home system be sold to more off-grid customers.
The Azuri Quad solar home lighting system uses a 10-watt solar panel combined with four LED lights. It also has a rechargeable radio and flashlight and a USB port with connectors for mobile phone charging. “The partnership with Azuri will help deliver life-changing solar technology to off-grid communities and provide Unilever customers and traders with the benefits of modern energy. Solar power is proven to support the local and wider economy and further supports Unilever’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” explained Justin Apsey, Managing Director of East Africa at Unilever.
According to the World Bank, about 56% of Kenya’s 49 million residents have access to electricity. About 73% live in rural areas, according to the same organization.
There are some important benefits from home solar power in Kenya. “A recent study reports owners of solar home systems on average increased their incomes by US$35 per month. In addition, data shows that children spend more time doing homework in the evenings and to date, Azuri has created over 2,000 new jobs through its Kenyan partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems.”
Adding a home solar system with lights to a residence decreases or eliminates kerosene consumption and costs. Kerosene is employed for lighting in parts of Kenya, but using it can cause harmful and even deadly fires. Burning kerosene also produces toxic indoor air pollution.
Top image by Azuri Technologies(via Wikipedia, public domain), second image by