#Innovation: ‘Epowered’ Solar Container

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To help solve the problem of electricity in Africa, four entrepreneurs- Tariq Yusuf, Brent Peterson, Rudi van der Westhuizen and Thlopie Motsepe- have come up with ‘ePower’, a green community energy solution, which is not connected to the electricity grid.

 

The entrepreneurs began ePower Holdings with the purpose to supply renewable alternatives to lanterns, candle and other products to areas with minimum or no access to power. These energy hubs which are solar powered are made out of shipping containers.

 

The 40 ft. container is functional and can provide 1000 battery swaps per day, while the 20 ft. container can provide 500 per day. These solar powered containers will communities the pleasure of watching TV, etc.

 

The solar powered hub also gives access to free Wi-Fi for those living in the communities. Epower has been deployed in Zambia and other parts of Africa.

 

African economies may be thriving, but lack of power is a threat to the sustainable growth and quality of life.

According to the International Energy Agency, Africa is at the heart of the global contest to overcome energy poverty. Data from 2012 shows the average energy use per person in Africa is around 600kWh, compared to a global average of more than 3,000kWh.

The continent has been described as the ‘Sun Continent’ and shows great potential for new power development. Just like the ‘epower-preneurs,’ a new breed of “solar-preneurs” is evolving, accelerating access to power and generating revenues at the same time.

With off-grid energy becoming as revolutionary to Africa in the coming decades as mobile phones, solar is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

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