Tilting at windmills – inevitably renewable

Windmills, Holland October 1st, 2012

Why was it so hard for people to massively change energy infrastructure? There are parts of the world where as little as 10% of the population has access to energy. Innovative solutions and business models can be tested very easily. The latest we hear is MKopa from Kenya, attempting to implement a pay as you go payment plan via the SIM card and MPesa. This is initially available for solar power lighting solutions or home systems, I am not yet clear.

There are suddenly many variations on this theme – MeraGao in Western India, Eight19 also in Kenya, while Nuru offers energy as a service. In the next decade or so, we’ll have a better idea of what has emerged in the household energy solutions space. I suspect the existing model is already obsolete. Giant Asian cities like Manila and Singapore have begun pilot testing prepaid electricity which also tracks energy consumption, in the case of the island nation.

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