There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in July: SteamaCo.
According to statistics from the World Bank, over three in four households in Kenya have no access to electricity, while over 80% of the population owns a mobile phone. But as well as making calls and writing text messages, phones are increasingly being used to send money and payments. In fact, 25% of Kenya’s GDP now goes through M-Pesa, the country’s main mobile money platform.
The Kenya-based renewable energy business SteamaCo has tapped into the country’s booming mobile culture and developed a cashless mobile system which has made electrical power accessible to people who had never been able to afford it before. The electricity is produced by solar micro-grids – small scale power stations that are able to operate independently from the area’s main electrical grid – and the connection fee is much less than they would have had to pay the local power company, that's assuming the national grid were even in reach.
Take a look at Marisa's article from last week for a complete overview at how the system works.