Updated: Feb 27, 2019
SolarAid is an international development charity which is working to create a sustainable market for solar lights in Africa. The organisation's aim is to reduce global poverty and climate change. SolarAid wholly owns an African social enterprise, SunnyMoney, the largest seller of solar lights in Africa.
“SolarAid believes that universal access to renewable energy is the best way to alleviate poverty, and that the best way to ensure universal access to energy is by building local, sustainable businesses”
What Solar Aid do, and why
598 million people in Africa alone have no access to electricity. Many use homemade kerosene lamps which are a poor source of light; they emit toxic black smoke, eat up to 15% of a family’s income and are extremely hazardous. To eradicate the kerosene lamp and combat poverty and climate change, SolarAid provide access to solar lights in Uganda, Malawi and Zambia, catalysing the solar markets in these regions.
SolarAid believes that universal access to renewable energy is the best way to alleviate poverty, and that the best way to ensure universal access to energy is by building local, sustainable businesses. To this end, SolarAid set up their social enterprise, Sunny Money.
What sets SolarAid apart is that SunnyMoney provides a long reaching solution - where SunnyMoney can instil trust and create demand in a new and unfamiliar technology they are able to build the foundations for a sustainable solar market and a lasting energy legacy.
SunnyMoney uses teachers to raise trust and build awareness of solar power. Each light shining in the night attracts neighbours and as word spreads, the demand for solar lights grow. This sparks the market conditions required for local shops to be able to sell solar lights profitably within their community so that solar lights become something that can be purchased year round, completely independent of outside help. SunnyMoney supports these local entrepreneurs by providing marketing campaigns, training and shipping of products.
This model is working in practice today. It is ensuring millions of people can access clean light for the first time. But it needs your support. Can you help spread some light today?