Falling prices of Photo Voltaic (PV) panels have reached a tipping point making off-grid rural power commercially viable in Africa. And new high efficiency appliances are fuelling the revolution in power services.
Solar power is now cost competitive with small generators and easily undercuts the costs of lighting by kerosene and candles, providing cool, bright stable light without kerosene’s associated fire and burn hazards. Studies have shown that children are encouraged to study up to an extra hour per day under solar light compared to dim, smoky kerosene lamps.
Community facilities can take advantage of high efficiency equipment to provide better services at lower costs. Ultra-low power computers are available for schools; LED lighting provides high-quality, bright lights in health clinics to aid diagnosis and battery-powered medical diagnostic equipment is readily converted to solar power.