Entrepreneurs world-wide are already making millions out of the sustainable technology market, using the pay-as-you go solar model. The developing solar market across emerging countries has become the biggest advantage for future entrepreneurs intending to start a new business.
A promising and lucrative market
Emerging countries in Africa have a very low electricity supply. Less than 20 percent of the population has access to electricity and the situation is worse in rural areas. Paradoxically, millions of Africans have mobile phones, but no electricity to charge their batteries.
The continent has the worst electric power infrastructure in the world, with the lowest scores in power generation, consumption and security of supply. Therefore, solar power remains one of Africa’s most exploited resources and entrepreneurs in the solar power industry are making millions by taking advantage of the gap between electricity demand and supply.
What is pay-as-you go solar?
The pay-as-you go solar model is a combination of mobile phone technology and solar technology. It works the same way as buying a scratch-card for your phone, but in this case, you buy a scratch-card which enables solar power that works for a period amount of time (a week, a month or more).
Also, the pay-as-you go model is very well understood in emerging countries because people have pay-as-you go mobile phones. It is an innovation which overtakes the solar problems occurred over the past 10 years.
A cost effective solution
In countries where electricity is not an option, people use kerosene, candles or even grass to light up their houses. Compared to electric lighting, the cost of kerosene lighting is huge. This means people with the lowest world-wide income have to pay vastly more for energy.
Providing solar power, massively reduces power costs, allowing people to save a lot of money, and introduces a more modern, more effective and updated way of lighting. In several African countries, people are spending the equivalent of 12 dollars on kerosene and for charging their mobile phones, whilst with the pay-as-you go solar system they pay an average of 5 dollars a month and have enough power to lighting up 2 rooms and also charge their phones.
Approaching people with an economic proposition
A business based on sustainable technology and on the pay-as-you go system, approaches people from a more economic perspective, rather than an ecological one. Telling people which have been living on kerosene lighting for over five decades that kerosene fumes are harmful, is a lost cause. But approaching them from a cost-saving point of view has a direct impact and only afterwards they see the healthy benefits of using solar power.
A plausible way in developing emerging countries
Once people have solar power and are able to save money, they have the opportunity to progressively upgrade to more powerful solar units. Providing more power leads to enabling access to information and media throughout radio and television. Therefore, providing more power has a huge social and political impact.
Future prospects for using “pay-as-you go solar”
Presently, the solar power market is still a “virgin” territory for future entrepreneurs. Business owners that plan to invest in the solar market can fully benefit of this advantage. The solar market products will expand with the dynamics of consumer electronics or mobile phones, rather than the dynamics of alternative energies.
The pay-as-you go system is functional and the demand for it is high, which leads to millions of future users. Also, costs for buying and installing solar equipment are significantly decreasing.