How solar power is supplying reliable electricity across Africa
5:28 AM EDT, Wed March 22, 2023
Olugbenga Olubanjo's company Reeddi makes lightweight solar-powered batteries that can be rented to customers for 24 hours and are able to power devices including TVs, laptops and refrigerators.
Reeddi was one of the finalists for Prince William's Earthshot Prize, which recognizes ambitious efforts to fix environmental problems.
Reeddi Capsules are just one example of how solar is helping to power parts of Africa that are off-grid, or lack reliable electricity. Brazilian company Youmma developed a pay-as-you-go solar-powered fridge, marketed to shops as a way to keep products fresh for longer.
Nidec Global Appliance
Kenyan company M-Kopa Solar provides solar-powered lighting, TVs and radios for people living off-grid.
Courtesy M-KOPA Solar/ALLAN GICHIGI
In 2016, South Africa's George Airport, located halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, became the continent's first solar-powered airport, with a 200 square meter solar plant developed on site.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Also in South Africa, Shoprite, the continent's biggest supermarket chain, has installed 143,674 square meters of solar panels at 62 of its distribution centers and stores. That's enough to power 3,735 households for one year, according to Shoprite.
Solar is the cheapest source of power in many parts of Africa and will outcompete all other energy sources by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency. Pictured, the Noor-Ouarzazate solar farm in Morocco.