Malawi has one of the lowest electricity connection rates in the world. With only 1% of those in rural areas being connected to the grid (USAID, 2018) and the minority who are connected experience regular blackouts and unreliable power. The lighting alternatives: candles and paraffin, pose severe health risks and respiratory damage, are expensive, and are a serious fire hazard in the home.
Connectivity is essential for economic empowerment for individuals, communities and nations. In fact, a lack of access to lighting, let alone electricity, perpetuates the cycle of poverty, as just after dark: business owners are unable to operate competitively, children are prevented from doing homework, and for women living at home, they are forced to complete their housework during daylight hours, reduces their ability to generate income and access financial independence.
The time, money and sacrifices individuals and business owners make to source charging alternatives beyond their homes, and live with dangerous and non-renewable lighting at home, could be much better invested into improving their quality of life.
548 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity (UN, 2020)
Malawians suffer one of the lowest electricity connection rates in the world, with 89.1% (16.5 million) of Malawians not connected to the grid. (USAID, 2018)
The average Malawian household spends 30% of their annual income on energy (PEV, 2020)
Indoor air pollution from existing fuel sources for household energy caused 4.3 million deaths in 2012, with women and girls accounting for 6 out of every 10 of these (UN, 2020).
Watch It In Action
What we are doing
PEV is bringing sustainable, clean and affordable power to Malawians through solar home systems.
We’ve been working with local sales agents and partners in Malawi, to bring this safe energy alternative to the 90% of the population without power. Our solar home systems include a solar panel, a battery, 2-3 light bulbs, and a USB charging port for phones and radios, and because it’s portable, it can be used almost anywhere!
Plus, to make this solution more accessible and affordable to those with limited or no disposable income, we’ve established a loan repayment plan so the benefits can be reaped from the start. In fact, for every AU$1 spent on our product, the user directly saves AU$2.65 that would have been spent on harmful, expensive alternatives, making the incredible benefits environmental, social, and economic.
What it Addresses
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
"When I discovered Solar my business changed.
Now I’m able to work past sundown and into the night; customers are able to see my stall and they are attracted to it by the lights…With the loan system, I can pay in small installments. This makes solar affordable for everyone. For villagers like me, the solar product is extremely useful. It allows people with no access to electricity to gain access to the social benefits that light will bring.”
– Gift, local business owner, Malawi
“Seeing someone reaping the benefits of a GD-Lite
A product that you endorse and stand by, is one of the most rewarding feelings that I have felt while being in country…Knowing that such a simple device has improved someone’s quality of life, is an experience that stands as its own.”
How to Get involved
Connecting young change-makers and technology partners you will be testing social enterprise solutions in real-world contexts at the very early stages. This is an opportunity to deeply understand our community members and work with them to develop a meaningful social impact.
Virtual Impact Program4 weeks
January 2021 | January 4 – 29, 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 26, 2021
- May 2021 | May 10 – June 4, 2021
- June 2021 | June 7 – July 2, 2021
- July 2021 | June 28 – July 23, 2021
Global Impact Program4 Weeks
Rural Impact Program2 Weeks
- December 2020 | December 7 – 18 2020
- January 2021 | January 4 – 15 2021 & January 18 – 29 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 12 2021