A British company aims to provide pay-as-you-go solar power to millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the vast central African nation where less than a fifth of the population have access to electricity.
London-based BBOXX Ltd. last week announced it signed a deal with Congo’s government securing exemptions on import duties and value-added tax for solar equipment. That step has removed “prohibitively high” costs related to bringing in panels and batteries, according to BBOXX Chief Executive Officer Mansoor Hamayun.
BBOXX plans to provide basic kits to customers comprising panels, a radio, a battery and several appliances, as well as larger systems to power households and small offices in urban and semi-urban areas. Prices will start at $15 per month with customers paying by mobile-money platforms, Hamayun said by phone.
“We think that by the end of 2020 we can reach 2.5 million people” with between 300,000 and 400,000 installed systems, he said, comparing it favorably to the current options, where Congolese people spend much of their income “on things like kerosene, candles and diesel for generators” for what is “often a very poor quality of supply.”
Read more: Renewable Energy World