It is estimated that 592 million people in Africa are living without access to electricity. Most of these people live outside of urban centers, and therefore out of reach of the continent’s electricity grid. And as many of us have experienced, the existing systems in many African countries even struggle to supply enough energy to the homes and businesses that are on the grid.
Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar technology has become Africa’s most promising approach to handling the continent’s growing energy problems. PAYGo users pay a small downpayment for a solar kit that provides up to eight hours of emission-free lighting every day, as well as enough energy to charge mobile phones and other devices. With PayGo solar, residents are able to reduce their energy spending by up to 50%.
PAYGo is a pioneering, game-changing credit system that removes the initial financial barrier to solar energy access by allowing consumers to make a series of modest payments to purchase time units (or tokens) for using solar electricity instead of paying upfront for the entire solar lighting system. After the payments are complete, the customer then owns the solar power device, which they can use at no additional cost.
The objective of this challenge is to help predict the next six months of payments for different customers. This will allow PAYGo distributors to provide appropriate services and customer support, ensuring that they can continue to provide these important devices affordably and efficiently to the benefit of people all over Africa.
Once this hackathon is finished join the follow-up competition here - SFC PAYGo Solar Credit Repayment Competition.
Despite significant progress over the last decade on improving access to electricity, increasing the use of renewable energy in the electricity sectors, and improving energy efficiency, the world is still short of achieving affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Despite great efforts, the world may still have as many as 660 million people without access in 2030.
SDG7 2030 targets:
About Solar Frontier Capital (SFC) (africanfrontiercapital.com/solar-frontier-capital.html)
Solar Frontier Capital (SFC) is a dedicated impact investment vehicle that provides capital to PAYGo Solar Home System distributors to plug the financing gap which restricts these companies from reaching their full growth potential. It indirectly finances African consumers of renewable off-grid solar energy, allowing them to leapfrog the grid sustainably and become energy-independent while improving quality of life. By doing so, SFC seeks to enable positive social and environmental impacts.
SFC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of African Frontier Capital (AFC), an investment group dedicated to providing capital to sub-Saharan Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurs and companies since 2010.