Of the more than 1 billion people globally who do not have access to electricity, 600 million reside in Africa. The continent may, however, leapfrog fossil fuel powered grids altogether and move straight to small-scale, off-grid and mini-grid renewable energy. 100 million people in Africa are already utilising off-grid solar products such as D-Light, a home solar system capable of powering multiple appliances, lights and mobile phones.

The African winner of the $1.5 million Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2013, D-Light is a global firm with a growing African market. Customers have the option to pay for the products in daily, weekly or monthly installments.

The impact of such products on people’s lives is clear: solar power is safer, cleaner, healthier and more affordable than alternatives such as kerosene, enabling people to stay connected, study and boost their businesses.

Read the full article by Steven Bland and Russell Galt here.