Organisers: Africa Power & University of Southampton
When: 3rd July 2017, 10:00 – 16:00
Where: University of Southampton, Building 85, Room 2207. Lunch will be provided.
Contact: Colin Green; or Chris Kanani;
Registration: Free using our registration form (external e4D website)  

Pay As You Go solar systems, a catalyst for business in rural Africa
The economics of Pay As You Go (PAYG) solar home systems (SHS’s) are relatively well known and these small systems can be used by businesses to provide power for profit making activities that would otherwise not be possible in rural environments. From lighting for shops to charging small hand appliances such as cell phones and barbers’ electric clippers the opportunities are wide ranging. However, the economics of renting larger business systems comprising high efficiency end-use equipment and the solar power to operate them is less well understood. This is currently limiting the extent to which micro-enterprises can access micro-finance to improve the size and profitability of their businesses.

By re-evaluating the core need for power services, new Africanised business models and equipment can be developed which transform the economics, allowing wider access to modern equipment, enhancing profits, creating jobs, and helping to lift local communities out of poverty.

Africa Power and the University of Southampton have teamed up to undertake a feasibility study on the productive use of power in Africa, funded by Innovate UK. We are holding a workshop at the University of Southampton to study the viability of Productive Power Uses in Africa.

The workshop will consist of two parts:

1. In the morning, case studies will be presented on the productive use of power in Africa (and/or other developing countries) whether in a commercial or “developmentally funded” setting, and concentrating on the economics for the end-user entrepreneur.

2. In the afternoon, workshop attendees will work together to select, from the myriad of possible businesses, a few worthy of further in-depth study and analysis. Africa Power and Southampton will research these opportunities further to come up with new technology, business models or ways of operation to turn subsidised use of power into commercially sustainable productive use of power. Attendees will be invited to help support these working groups either with data or field knowledge, and hence representing the end-user community, or actively participating in studies, design, sourcing and testing activities, eventually leading to field trials.

A follow-on conference will be held in the spring of 2018 to report the results and to seek a further round of opportunities to investigate. Feel free to share this with collaborators, colleagues and friends who may be interested in attending in their own right.

Call for Case Studies!
If you would like to present a case study at this workshop please get in touch by the 19th June 2017 so we can add you to the Agenda. There is also some limited space available if people want to bring posters or equipment to demonstrate / exhibit at the conference.