The SOLARKIOSK is a solar-powered autonomous business hub. It utilizes solar power to provide rural off-grid communities with sustainable energy and energy-related products and services such as battery charging, communication, refrigeration, and an unprecedented access to technology and information.
A SOLARKIOSK uses the energy it produces as a "mini smart grid". The structure is a modular and expandable kit-of-parts that can be easily transported and deployed in remote off-grid areas.
Globally, 1.5 million people live without electricity access - 800 million of them are in Africa. Their annual energy expenditures amount to approx. 30 billion USD - about 120 USD per household. The majority of their energy is provided by unsustainable and dirty fuels despite abundant sunshine. The SOLARKIOSK addresses energy needs and spurs sustainable economic development of rural off-grid communities worldwide. SOLARKIOSK works at the bottom-of-the-pyramid and utilizes an inclusive business model. The franchise model enables a local kiosk owner to meet the needs and challenges of their rural off-grid community by enabling and empowering it.
One in five people worldwide live without access to electricity, which is one of the biggest driving forces in economic and social development in the poorest countries around the globe. Mobile phones for example are often the only connection, providing crucial access to information or finance in rural areas. However, these also need electricity and access to it usually forces people to travel long distances. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon homed in on this point in his speech at the World Energy Summit in 2012: "Widespread energy poverty still condemns millions to darkness, to ill health, to missed opportunities for education.”
A powerful and sustainable energy supply unit in off-grid areas allows many people the use of small electrical appliances, meets people’s needs and opens up various business opportunities. Solarkiosks are already operational in Ethiopia and have proven that there is a sustainable and profitable market for the solution and its inclusive business model. Experience in the past years has shown that, contrary to popular belief, rural communities do have purchasing power, also for more expensive items.