Member Highlights – December 2017

ARE announces 4th Energy Access Investment Forum in Sicily, Italy in March 2018

Since its 1st edition in Madrid in 2015, the annual Forum has become the key milestone event in spring where the clean energy off-grid sector gathers together to learn more about upcoming new support schemes and initiatives by the public sector as well as the latest industry trends and product and service innovations from the private sector.

The ARE Forum in 2018 is organised in collaboration with RES4Africa and is the meeting place for 300+ participants from all over the world to identify and get introduced to the most interesting actors to present their own business proposals. The forum will be held in Catania, Italy in 13-15 March 2018.

As proud partner of SEforALL, ARE collaborates with SEforALL through specifically tailored interventions which lie on the critical path as identified by the Global Tracking Framework. The 4th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum has been identified as a key deliverable to enhance global efforts to promote a level-playing field for decentralised clean energy technology and business solutions. This forum offers a unique opportunity to increase visibility and position organisations at the forefront of the off-grid sector.

For more information and registration, please visit

M-KOPA secures 80 million USD commercial debt funding to finance off-grid PV

Off-grid solar company and EAPN member M-KOPA Solar has secured US$80 million in committed debt financing, which will be used over the next three years to provide financing for PAYG PV projects in one million homes in Africa. Several lenders participated in the debt funding, including CDC (US$20 million), Stanbic Bank (US$9 million), FMO (US$13 million) and Norfund (US$13 million). M-KOPA claims that it is the largest commercial debt facility to date in the pay-as-you-go, off-grid energy market.

So far, M-KOPA has connected over 500,000 homes in East Africa to affordable, safe and clean energy. They said the funds will be utilised over the next three years to provide finance for pay-as-you-go solar installations in one million homes – on top of the 500,000 already connected. These off-grid solar systems allow customers access to lighting, phone charging, radio and TV on daily mobile money payment plans that are less than the typical cost of kerosene fuel.

Greenlight Planet raises $60 million for Off-Grid Solar Financing Business

London-based private equity fund manager Apis Partners and other investors announced disbursement of $60 MM in new funding to Greenlight Planet Inc. Greenlight Planet announced that it now operates the world’s largest direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar product distribution business, selling more than 25,000 solar products to off-grid consumers each month. Using mobile money systems, customers pay for their solar energy products over time, for as little as 25 cents per day.

Greenlight’s line of Sun King™ solar-powered products, now used by 28 million consumers in 62 countries, includes lighting, home energy systems, phone chargers and soon-to-be-released televisions. The company began selling affordable solar home systems just three years ago, and has sold nearly 600,000 to date, now at a rate of over 1,000 solar home systems per day. Greenlight Planet partners with a network of more than 100 distributors, including retailers, NGOs, and over 40 micro-finance institutions, to provide sales and service in 62 countries.

Greenlight Planet will use the new debt and equity capital to expand its solar-energy product lines, distribution networks, and financing capabilities in Africa and Asia. Greenlight Planet provides clean energy to 28 million people in 5.5 million households, who benefit from kerosene-free lighting and prevent emission of 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.

Mobisol expands into Ethiopia with partnership with SunTransfer

EAPN members Mobisol, a leader in decentralized solar solutions, and SunTransfer Tech, Ethiopia’s principal solar service distributor, partner up to provide large high-tech Solar Home Systems, supporting the Ethiopian government’s aim to achieve universal energy access by 2025.

The partnership will see pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar products, integrated with Mobisol’s SolarHub Software Suite, introduced into the Ethiopian market. The software suite additionally allows for efficient deployment of maintenance servicing and customer relationship management. Providing productive use solar solutions that go beyond lighting, Mobisol focuses on the development and supply of large solar systems that power a range of energy efficient appliances for household and small businesses.

SunTransfer Tech, brings into the partnership an existing and continuously expanding network of Solar-Centers, each staffed by professionally trained solar technicians. SunTransfer Tech’s vast experience in the Ethiopian market and in-depth understanding of local characteristics ideally positions them to quickly scale up sales, distribution and comprehensive after-sales structures.

Mobisol and SunTransfer Tech aspire to decisively support the implementation of the new National Electrification Program, officially announced on November 27th, 2017. The program aims to provide equitable and affordable electricity to all Ethiopians by 2025 and foresees 35% of electrification with off-grid energy – of which 5.4 million households will be provided with Solar Home Systems.

Schneider Electric gets greenlight for energy project in South Australia

Schneider Electric has formed a partnership with Australian renewable energy engineering company Planet Ark Power and has been awarded a $1.95 million grant by the South Australian state government to support the delivery of a secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply to the state.

The grant will help build a $13.9 million solar and battery pilot project. The first of its kind in Australia, it combines solar power and battery technology optimized by a Schneider Electric microgrid management system integrated with an Advanced Distribution Management System to deliver more secure and reliable energy back to the grid. The grant is part of the SA State Government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund designed to support projects in renewable generation; bulk energy storage; bioenergy; and hydrogen infrastructure. This grant comes as recognition for Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power that their current and proposed work is contributing to a more sustainable energy future.

The project will include a grid-connected microgrid with 2.9MWh of smart battery storage, demand management, new network integration technology and up to 6MW of rooftop solar power. Central to this project will be the integration of Schneider Electric’s market leading EcoStruxure Platforms, including its Advanced Distribution Management System and Microgrid Advisor, which will optimise the site’s solar PV and battery storage. Embedding solar generation and storage with microgrid control, will improve the grid’s resilience and the energy security of the site.

New Practitioner Network members

Welcome to our new members who have recently joined us:

Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Ceara

Energy Access and Development Program (EADP)

Index Solutions Africa

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie


Foundation for Sustainable and Healthy Environmental Development


Ventaja Verde

Innovation Energy Development



Africa Capital Lynx

Solarwave Cleantech Solutions Ltd.

Skylon Global Company

Adapt Plus

Crysta O Enterprise

Smart RUE

Healthy Schools International