Over 70 million Ethiopians – 63% of the country’s 110-million people – do not have access to electricity.
The government’s National Electrification Program (NEP-2) wants to connect 8 million households to the national grid by 2025. This leaves 6 million households off-grid, without affordable energy access.
Consumer culture in Ethiopia is typified by tiny disposable income, distrust of unfamiliar technology and heavy dependence on kerosene lamps, wax candles and dry-cell battery torches. All of these are expensive, inefficient, hazardous to health and / or harmful to the environment.
Most solar products imported to Ethiopia are sold by large distributors who seek to maximize volume and margins with no regard for product quality, product relevance or market-confidence building.
• Low quality: 76% of products currently imported do not meet Lighting Global certification standards.
• Poor service: Wholesalers do not offer after sales maintenance or repair, leaving users no recourse when low quality products fail.
• One size fits all: Wholesalers and foreign companies lack community ties and contextual understanding, pushing products and services which are not necessarily suited to actual community and household needs.
Ethiopia is 24th globally in number of mobile phone users – 43.6 million people, a market penetration of 44%.
Furthermore, 90% of the country has network coverage of at least 2G, a figure far exceeding the electrical grid penetration of just 37%.
Green Scene Energy makesuse of the existing telecommunications infrastructure to provide affordable solar to vast numbers of low income households and small businesses. In this way, we overcome the barriers of (i) limited (or absent) grid access, (ii) minimal mobile money adoption rates, (iii) prohibitive upfront purchase costs of solar systems and (iv) limited physical access to settlements and institutions such as banks and micro financiers.