United Nations has called on
businesses, governments, and
civil society to achieve Sustainable
Energy for All by 2030
Solar Aid Impact Report: Investing in Families, Eradicating Kerosene
November 23, 2014
In its Impact report 2014, Solar Aid reports not only on improved socio-economic outcomes for customers who are saving money, making their homes safe, improving their livelihoods and helping their children study at night with solar products. It also highlights the choices people make and the challenges that need to be overcome in order to scale access to sustainable energy solutions in Africa. By April 2014 Solar Aid had sold over one million solar lights, and provided access to an estimated 3.9 million people between 2013 and 2014.
As nine in ten customers of Solar Aid’s social enterprise SunnyMoney live on less than $1.25 a day, and families save up to $70 a year – or 10 per cent of their income – by using solar lighting, the report emphasizes that the economic impact of switching from kerosene to solar is life-changing as families are able to redistribute their savings from energy usage to food, education and better livelihoods.
The report asserts that one of the biggest barriers to scaling solar technology is building awareness and trust among communities. In 2013, through SunnyMoney’s light library project, 58 schools in Senegal were given a solar lights for use by the students and the community for a small daily fee. This allowed communities the opportunity to test out the project before use, particularly for low-income households that cannot take risks with their household budgets.
Families report that children are the primary users of the solar lights as it gives them on average at least one extra hour of studies under bright, safe and clean lighting every day. Families surveyed also reported improvements in health with fewer complaints of coughing, chest problems and eye irritation.