SolaFin2Go field trials in Sub-Saharan Africa: Off-grid village electrification and hot water supply

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More than 80% of Africa's electricity is fossil fuel generated leading to climate change effects which disproportionately affect the sub-Saharan region where 588 million people live without modern energy access. Lack of basic services such as lighting; motive power; and communications/media; compounds poverty by limiting educational opportunity; constraining ability to generate income; and leaving populations vulnerable to crime at night. Millions of low-income households burn wood, charcoal, agricultural residues or animal dung for cooking and boiling water, leading to deforestation, soil degradation and air pollution as well as physical burden and adverse health effects which disproportionately affect women. Electricity grid expansion or local mini-grid development can be cost effective in densely populated areas where industrial energy demand is present, but challenging characteristics such as low population density; low incomes; low energy demands; and difficult topography makes grid infrastructure disproportionately expensive in rural areas.
SolaFin2Go stand-alone solar-storage systems provide affordable access to both electricity and hot water for off-grid households, businesses and community facilities through improved pay-as-you-go business models enabled by an innovative FinTech platform delivered through Mobile, Cloud and Blockchain. This paper tells the story of the project from equipment design and selection through to field trial data analysis and summarises the key impacts, outcomes and scientific knowledge generated by the project. The paper explains how the ongoing field trial in Botswana will form a regional technology showcase and act as an enabling environment for developing new off-grid energy access infrastructure approaches and testing innovative prosumer energy trading service delivery models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th Photovoltaic science aplications and technology conference PVSAT-15
EditorsMichael Hutchins, Rolf Crook, Alex Cole
PublisherInternational Solar Energy Society - UK Section
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)0904963853
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 May 2019
Event15th Photovoltaic Science, Applications and Technology Conference - University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Apr 201912 Apr 2019
Conference number: 15


Conference15th Photovoltaic Science, Applications and Technology Conference
Abbreviated titlePVSAT
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • Solar (PV)
  • Solar Thermal
  • energy access
  • fintech


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