, Green energy and technology company, M-KOPA, has launched its first solar-powered digital flat screen TV. Customers who have finished paying off their M-KOPA payment plans can now extend their Sh50-per-day payment plan to upgrade to the ‘M-KOPA + TV’ system.
M-KOPA has already started upgrading its best performing customers and expects to make M-KOPA TV available to tens of thousands before the end of the year.
A two-year flexible and affordable payment plan will see M-Kopa’s 300,000 clients own the television and solar power system outright and can enjoy viewing without any monthly bills.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the intersection between digital content on TV and the thousands of people that now have access to TV, opens a world of possibilities, especially in education content.
“M-PESA and Safaricom are helping make digital TV affordable and accessible for the first time for millions of people. I think M-KOPA’s innovation signals a fundamental change for TV audiences in Kenya. We are creating the genesis of a new economy based on clean energy that promises to include groups who have been previously marginalized,” said Collymore at the launch of M-Kopa + TV.
The TV will be available on several different M-PESA payment plans helping nearly 28 million Kenyans without access to a TV achieve their dream of ownership.
M-KOPA has partnered with Safaricom since 2010 on technology development and distribution in Kenya. And solar home systems, with TV, will be available in Safaricom retail outlets from mid-2016.
“Owning a TV is life-changing for our off-grid customers. Many of them have traditionally had to pay to watch in a café or bar, or missed out on news and current events because they could not afford to be connected to information. We are now going beyond the grid to offer TV to homes all over Kenya,” said M-KOPA CEO Jesse Moore.
In addition the M-KOPA 400, a new 20W solar home system, is now also available in selected service centres. It includes a 20W PV panel, a 16” digital TV, two lights, a torch, a phone charger, and a radio and is available for a deposit plus a year of daily Sh125 payments.
Meanwhile, in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has launched the Kayoola Solar Bus, as part of the $145M Kiira Motors Corporation’s investment. The ‘made in Uganda’ model bus is a 35-seater electric solar bus with zero tailpipe emissions.
The Kayoola Solar Bus has a powertrain architecture based on two battery banks .The primary battery bank supplies electrical energy to the propulsion motor while the secondary power bank is available for charging, either in real time using the onboard solar charging system or the plug-in charger system.
The solar panels are mounted on the roof, taking full advantage of Uganda’s exceptional position at the Equator. The primary and secondary roles are transient from a physical perspective of the electrical installations.
“The savings expected per 100km using the Kayoola Solar Bus, compared to the conventional diesel powered buses is expected to be 63%, providing a lower cost mass transportation solution as well as assuring profitability when in service,” said Kiira Motors Corporation CEO Paul Isaac Musasizi.