- Website: www.solarnow.eu
- Sector: Renewable energy
- Country of operations: Uganda
Power to the people
SolarNow is a renewable energy provider that’s literally lighting up people’s lives. There are around six million households in Uganda, but only one in six have access to grid electricity. That’s where SolarNow comes in. The company offers the other five million households an affordable solar energy solution that’s replacing old energy sources
such as kerosene lights and powering new appliances that improve lives, and generate income.
The company’s offering encompasses everything from a basic solar system that allows a family to cut their lighting costs, to ‘business in a box’ solutions that enable customers to start a solar-powered business, whether that’s a shop which depends on a solar fridge or a farmer employing a solar-powered water pump.
“The biggest opportunity is in productivity-enhancing appliances”
Alongside these systems, SolarNow has also developed a flexible payment system that can change to fit customers’ needs. “We allow low- and middle-income families to save and to make money,” says CEO Willen Nolens. “We adapt the pay plan to the client’s needs so that they can pay as they make money. When existing clients are hit by tough economic conditions, we offer them flexibility and can restructure their pay plan.”
SolarNow is the market leader in its sector in Uganda and is growing fast, with its workforce on course to almost double in size to around 800 people by the end of 2018. It’s set to expand into other markets too and plans to employ 500 staff in neighbouring Kenya by the end of 2018.
- 800 people are likely to be employed by SolarNow in Uganda by the end of 2018
The company is also looking for new products to roll out, to take advantage of solar panels becoming cheaper and more efficient, as well as the growing storage capacity of batteries.
“The biggest opportunity is in productivity-enhancing appliances,” says Willen. “We already offer water pumps and are exploring solar milling and harvest dryers. Solar water pumps used for irrigation can double the yield of the land for a farmer.”