48. Clean energy for 100 000 people

A Rwandan family is doing its usual evening chores using headlamps as a source of light. However, something has changed: Instead of disposable batteries, the lamps now operate with solar power.
Over the past seven years, Nuru Energy has made clean energy available to more than 100 000 households in the Rwandan countryside. The secret of the success lies in a model based on shared consumption. Under the model, local small entrepreneurs own a charge point operated with solar or kinetic energy and other residents of the village can purchase energy generated in the charge point. When not all residents need to purchase an expensive solar panel, sustainable energy is accessible to more users.

Nuru also sells rechargeable LED lamps at a price that is substantial below the normal price. This means that 80 per cent of the families can afford them. Rest of the market price of the lamps is covered from the revenue generated by the charge point. LED lamps and mobile phones are some of the devices that can be recharged at the point. Nuru has received support from the energy and environment partnership EEP funded by Finland.

Photo: Nuru Energy, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

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