Top 5 renewable energy startups in Africa to watch in 2021

Africa is a fast-growing continent with heightening usage of energy among companies, homeowners, and industries daily. This fast pace development comes with its challenges of climate change and energy depletion, and many innovators and investors see the potential of renewable energy as the thing for the future in Africa to help counteract these challenges.

Though the present startups providing consumers with renewable energy don’t eliminate greenhouse gases, the future of renewable energy in Africa is hopeful. According to a Quartz Africa report, clean energy accounted for the second-biggest funding activity in Africa’s startup landscape in 2020 with many startups emerging to help industries, rural and urban areas increase their share of renewable energy usage. With the present energy consumption in Africa, these startups will be vital for the continent’s continual fast-paced development.

Let’s look at the top 5 Renewable Energy startups in Africa to watch in 2021 that are making renewable energy more accessible and affordable:

KYA Energy Group

A group of Togolese researchers developed the KYA sizing software. After solid scientific research, they found that the present photovoltaic sizing calculation system had several inconsistencies in the energy balance, and there were no certain models for accounting for the use of energy.

Using what they call the KEG method of sizing, the KYA Software corrects the uncertainties in the photovoltaic sizing calculations by calculating the population’s energy need and cost in terms of what is consumed in reality. With calculations using this software, a photovoltaic panel system that has already been figured to feed 10 villages can now feed 20 villages with the same cost making the photovoltaic systems efficient and less expensive in Africa.

This development, including the recent price drop of solar panels and batteries, makes solar energy a competitive solution for improving access to electricity in Africa.

Pula

Pula is a Kenyan startup that provides agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers tackle climate risks, enhance their farming practices and increase their incomes across Africa through agriculture insurance.

This idea is important in Africa considering that small farm holders in Africa receive way too low insurance premium at an average of $4 compared to $1,000 in the U.S or Europe with large farm holders. This discrepancy arises because small-scale farmers can’t afford insurance costs through farm visits by protection brokers; hence, they are often excluded from financial benefits against climate risks like flood, drought, and pestilence. The startup solves this problem by using artificial intelligence, crop-cut experiments, weather patterns, and farmer losses, to estimate the needed insurance amount.

Despite the solutions, challenges have been faced getting farmers to register for this insurance project. Some farmers are not likely to take insurance early until they experience any climate risk, which is ineffectual to the startup’s progress. To tackle this challenge, the startup collaborates with banks to provide loans to farmers and make it compulsory for them to have insurance.

Daystar Power

Daystar Power is a solar startup, founded in Lagos, Nigeria. The startup provides solar power solutions to businesses in various sectors such as financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, and more.

It obtained $38-million funding through the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), the Danish development finance institution (DFI), STOA infrastructure and energy fund, Proparco, and several other investors.

The company hopes to use this fund to develop its operations by Increasing installed capacity to over 100 megawatts, catering to clients in various sectors such as financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, and more. This funding will also help to expand its operations across Senegal, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire.

By providing a renewable energy resource to businesses across Africa, this startup has significantly reduced pollution in the surrounding regions and positively contributes to the natural environment.

Innovex

Founded in 2016 by Douglas Baguma and David Tusubira in Uganda, this startup seeks to solve the challenges of solar energy high price faced by low-income consumers by delivering services using modern technology opportunities.

The company adopts the prepaid/ pay-as-you-go technology and remote monitoring of their energy distributions across Africa using cloud-based solutions.

The company looks to have 100 solar distributors across Africa and allowing solar energy access to three million people by 2023. The startup has started services with institutions that have solar systems installed such as health centres, schools, and rural farms across Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia.

Easy Solar

Founded in 2016, Easy Solar uses a range of flexible financing options like the pay-as-you-go, mobile money, agents, or shops to make financial services easily accessible and renewable energy affordable to its users in West Africa.

The startup manufactures affordable solar energy technology and products like small solar lanterns, mobile chargers, and pico solar home systems for rural areas with zero electricity access to urban areas with many industries. This startup has powered more than 450 000 residents in Sierra Leone and Liberia and created more than 600 jobs across its operating regions.

It is looking to expand its business further into West Africa and increase its output within the kW and mW range depending on the residential, commercial, and industrial needs of the clients.

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