According to UN estimates, 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity and are forced to use polluting, unhealthy and very expensive energy sources to meet their needs. The Antenna Foundation and its partners developed in 2014 an innovative and robust solar kit for homes without electricity: OOLUX.
In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 600 million people have no access to electricity. They have no choice but to use kerosene lamps that are dangerous, unhealthy, and more expensive in the long run than solar lamps. In Cameroon, the population that is not connected to the electrified grid represents 10.4 million people, or 47% of the population.
The OOLUX Solar Kit consists of a 5 Watt solar panel, a battery with 2 USB ports, a mobile phone charger compatible with most major brands and 2 LED lamps. The kit is produced in Switzerland by Fondation Pro, a Geneva-based social enterprise employing people with disabilities. Ten hours of exposure to the sun is enough to charge the battery, guaranteeing 15 hours of light, or charging about 10 phones.
This product has the special feature of integrating a Pay-as-you-go system. This allows customers to spread payments over several months. The expenses are thus of the same nature as the monthly purchase of kerosene for oil lamps and the costs associated with a telephone refill.
The OOLUX solar kit is usually paid in full in 8 months thanks to the Pay-as-you-go system. The kit will be completely owned by the customer. The price of the solar kit in cash is about 80,000FCFA (122 €). In leasing (Pay-as-you-go system) for customers who do not have the possibility to pay the full sum at once, the price is then 90,000fcfa (about 137€) with an average expenditure per month of 10,000fcfa (15€).
The Antenna Foundation works with a Cameroonian solar company African Solar Generation ASG which has been present in Cameroon since 2015. The Antenna Foundation supplies OOLUX solar kits to AGS, which then handles local distribution.
To date, more than 2,500 OOLUX kits have been sold, benefiting more than 10,000 people, mostly in Cameroon. However, it turns out that the price of kits remains too high for the majority of people in rural areas. Today, the market for solar kits in Africa includes many cheap but very poor quality products.
For this reason, a crowdfunding campaign with the Fengarion platform was launched with the aim of continuing to offer these robust and very good quality kits (2-year warranty) at a reduced price to their local partners. Do not hesitate to support this project!
To go further:
See the video OOLUX on Youtube:
About the Antenna Foundation:
The Antenna Foundation is committed to scientific research and the dissemination of technological solutions adapted to the essential needs of the most vulnerable communities. In collaboration with an international network of scientists, Antenna undertakes and participates in research projects in the fields of nutrition, drinking water, agriculture, medicine and energy.
Article written by Céline Perino, Antenna Foundation