Solar Solutions

Electrifying Malawi through affordable solar home systems

Vision

Transform access to energy in Africa

households connected with solar power

people with reduced exposure to toxic fumes produced by kerosene

MWK (or $18,000 AUD) in collective savings for communities from switching to more affordable solar energy

disposable batteries saved from being used

tonnes of CO2 saved from being emitted into the atmosphere every year

kids with access to lighting and the ability to study at night

THe Problem

Without lighting or power, you are unable to do simple things such as read at night or charge a phone. However, this is the reality for ~90% of Malawians who do not have access to electricity – this is one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world.

Even for those who are connected to the grid, power outages are a regular occurrence, making it an unreliable source of power. Philip, a local, sums up the situation: “Electricity in Malawi isn’t reliable. I would struggle to even cook sometimes because I have no light to prepare my meals. I would end up losing motivation and skip dinner that night”.

PE Ventures has assessed the supply, quality and cost of energy sources in Malawi, and is providing clean, safe affordable energy alternative in the form of solar power.

Access to energy (electrification)

Currently, only 10% of Malawians have access to electricity. Alternative sources of energy (such as torches, paraffin lamps, or candles) provide no ability to power electrical appliances such as a mobile phones and provide insufficient lighting to households. Solar home systems can provide off-grid access to energy for households in need.

Clean energy

Current energy sources are non-renewable and emit CO2 in some cases. Use of batteries to power torches, or paraffin lamps that produce greenhouse gases are unsustainable. Solar home systems can provide a clean source of renewable energy to power households in need.

Affordable energy

Current energy sources are expensive – an average household spends 30% of the annual income on energy. In Australia, with an average income of $84,000, that would equate to over $25,000 a year. Solar home systems can halve their energy costs, which greatly improves their financial position.

KEY PARTNERS

Nancholi Youth Organization (NAYO)

We work closely with NAYO (Nancholi Youth Organisation), who specialise in local, community-based development programmes in Malawi. They provide local expertise, connect us to influential community leaders and village chiefs, and helps provide operational support by organising community meetings with community members.

HOW IT WORKS

We distribute solar home systems to Malawian households, which supplies enough power to cover the basic energy needs of our customers. Solar home systems consist of a solar panel, a battery, 2-3 light bulbs, and a USB charging port. Energy from the sun is converted by the solar panel and is stored in the battery. This powers sufficient lighting and the ability to charge your phone or radio from the USB port.

Solar home systems are a more suitable alternative to the grid, or other energy alternative such as torches, paraffin lamps or candles. It provides accessible and affordable energy to everyday Malawians, especially the 90% not connected to the grid. It provides affordable, sustainable, and safe electricity for those currently dependent on torches, paraffin lamps or candles.

The business model

The project is at the state where product market fit has been achieved, with over 150 sales of the current product. The next step is to find ways to create smart, scalable methods to distribute these products to our customers. By using digital solutions to efficiently manage key systems and processes, this can reach a greater number of communities and make the greatest impact.

KEy Value Proposition

Financial savings

Currently, households in Malawi spend 30% of their income of energy sources. Solar home systems can halve their energy costs. This greatly improve the financial circumstances for families, allowing them to redirect their savings for things like education, healthcare, agriculture or nutrition.

Health benefits

Current sources of energy, such as candles or paraffins, emit smoke in closed environments. This is detrimental to their health – it can cause toxic fumes, risk of burns, coughing, and eye irritation. Solar home systems will provide access to safe energy that eliminates these health risks and hazards from the lives of our customers.

Improved opportunity through education and productivity

Being able to light their house at night provides productivity particularly for children in school.

Connectivity

The ability to charge phones on their terms provides increased access to information and technology.

WANT TO INTERN ON THIS PROJECT?

LOCATION

Malawi

DATES
PRICE

Academic Credit

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