SolarKiosk, a modular business unit for Africa and off–grid areas anywhere in the world, recently opened its first kiosk near Lake Langano, Ethiopia.
Following a period of design and planning, a privately financed company was formed to prepare the product for serial production by building prototypes and running pilots in several countries. The first prototype of the SolarKiosk was built in November 2011 and displayed in various locations, including the 2012 TEDxBerlin conference.
â€œWhat we dream of is that these people at night, can not only enjoy cold beer but maybe they can even watch TV,â€ said creator Lars KrÃ¼ckeberg during a TED talk in Berlin.
Equipped with rooftop photovoltaic panels, the energy hub will provide enough power for solar lighting, mobile phones, car batteries, a computer and even a solar fridge. Furthermore, local residents will be able to purchase solar lanterns, mobile phones, re-charge cards and refreshments that one typically finds in a kiosk. Since the kiosk is most likely to house the only refrigerator in the community, it can also be used to store community emergency supplies and medicines.
As a local business, the SolarKisok will provide training and secure jobs to several people from the community. This will include training that will educate kiosk operators on how solar products work, how to maintain them, and the everyday workings of a sustainable business.
In March of this year, a subsidiary, SolarKiosk Solutions PLC, was incorporated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to run a pilot program. Construction of the first prototypes in Ethiopia began in April. Today, the kiosk is up and running in a new community…[continue reading]
September 17, 2012