Cameroon Solar Solutions

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Cameroon Solar Solutions

Yaoundé, Cameroon
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Cameroon Solar Solutions (CSS) makes a positive impact for environment, economy and society facilitating access to affordable, reliable and clean solar energy.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Cameroon, over 10 millions households have no access to grid electricity, 90% of all rural communities have no electric light. And those urban centers in rural districts with grid connection are suffering daily power outages. Furthermore, poor households are spending a large amount of their earnings on kerosene and dry batteries to have some light at night.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The aim of the CSS is to spread clean solar power and efficient cooking facilities, by replacing expensive and dirty fossil lighting, as well as unhealthy cooking technologies. CSS will make use of the know-how and trained technicians from the Climate Solution Caravan project to enable business opportunities, based on the high demand for solar energy technologies. CSS will import and distribute solar products like small solar home systems (SHSs) and solar portable lights (SPLs) to urban and rural low and middle-income people. The distribution channel will be maintained together with local retailers and local trainees will be recruited to build an expertise in the installing and after service of small SHS in rural areas.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since January 2012, 5 motivated Cameroonian youths got an employment opportunity after completing the training program in the Climate Solution Caravan. These technicians, including more than 50% women, have installed around 40 small solar home systems. CSS increased the local employment opportunities and empowered local entrepreneur to engage in a business with sustainable products. Furthermore, the solar systems replaced fossil lighting options, dry batteries and diesel generator sets. This leads to a reduction of CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution. CSS has about 300 pending household contracts for solar equipment in rural villages and a institutional agreement for massive introduction of solar energy in a community bank network.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

First installations were non-profit installations. The deficit was sponsored by donors “à fond perdu”. It will take 2 years to have CSS sufficiently capitalized to be able to pay back any external capital received. The Swiss NGO Solafrica.ch assists the CSS in the start-up phase with technical and financial advice, particulary connecting CSS with socially responsible investors and enterprises.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are other businesses and NGO’s selling solar systems. The main businesses are KISC, Clean Energy Cameroon Plc., Maguysama Electrification, Solar Power and TOTAL OIL. The main selling products are d.light lights sold by TOTAL OIL, as well as cheap low quality light and kerosene lamps. But CSS is the only company which is selling products to middle and low income people on the countryside. In Cameroon, 20 Mio people live in about 30'000 villages, of which 90% rural villages are off-grid. CSS will explore this market segments.
Team

Founding Story

CSS has been founded as the business branch of the Climate Solution Caravan, a environment protection and development project run by five local and international organizations. The Climate Solution Caravan has trained 75 local community workers and solar technicians. The project is working since 2010 in 15 village communities in the East and Centre Region of Cameroon. Cameroon Solar Solutions has been inspired by this experiences and the electricity as a main driver for development of the Cameroonian countryside.