Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar company wins global green energy award
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Azuri Technologies – a company that gives Kenyan households pay-as-you-go access to solar power, is the winner of the 2013 Ashden Award, the world’s leading green energy prize.
The Cambridge (UK) based Azuri Technologies developed a pay-as-you-go interface, which allows households to pay for solar as they use it with scratchcards. The upfront costs of solar products often render them out of reach for the people who would benefit most.
The company was presented with the Zennström Philanthropies Ashden Award for Innovation – worth £20,000 – at a ceremony in the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Increasing numbers of homes in Kenya and elsewhere are now using Azuri’s ‘Indigo Duo’ starter solar-home-systems, which provide two lights and phone charging. Once they have paid for their starter system, Azuri Technologies’ customers then have the opportunity to upgrade to larger systems, allowing them to progressively pay their way out of poverty.
“Our Ashden Award is for all those who have helped Indigo grow from small beginnings. That includes many dedicated individuals at Azuri Technologies, and our partners, who are now working to bring pay-as-you-go solar power to rural villages across sub-Saharan Africa. Together we have demonstrated the transformational impact that an innovative technology and business model can achieve,” said Simon Bransfield Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies.
Azuri Technologies is one of four enterprises working in Africa to win an International Ashden Award. The others are: WWF-DRC, SolarAid and Impact Carbon.
The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of sustainable energy to reduce poverty and tackle climate change.