Orange (www.Orange.com) and ENGIE (www.ENGIE.com) have today launched a plan to deploy nearly 1,000 solar kits in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Several villages in rural areas have been identified to participate in the first phase of this pilot program, prior to deployment on a larger scale.
The kits include a solar panel connected to a battery that can be used to provide domestic appliances with electricity. They also contain a remote control solution and a mobile payment system, providing a decentralized source of renewable electricity to homes that are not connected to the grid. The solar kits can be used as a lighting solution with LED lamps, to operate small electrical appliances (radio, television, etc.) or to recharge mobile phones.
This equipment offers an alternative solution, at low cost, that can replace petroleum lamps, disposable batteries or diesel-powered devices, which are all potentially dangerous pollutants.
Within the framework of this partnership, ENGIE will supply the solar kits through BBOXX and Fenix International, both of which are companies that have worked with ENGIE for several years and that have become references in the supply of solar-powered equipment. ENGIE will also take responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the equipment. Orange will ensure the commercial deployment and management of billing via “Orange Money”. The service will allow customers to pay rent for the use of the equipment, allowing them to pay by instalment rather than through an upfront investment. In addition, this mobile payment system offers customers a simple and secure way to pay remotely, thus avoiding the need to travel long distances with cash.
Access to energy is a major challenge for the African continent. Around 90% of the population of sub-Saharan rural Africa does not have access to the electricity grid. In this context, Orange and ENGIE signed an agreement in 2015 to collaborate on ways to develop the electrification of rural areas and to optimize the supply of electricity to telecoms infrastructure in Africa. During the COP22 conference, Orange and ENGIE reaffirm their commitment to leveraging their technological expertise to stimulate sustainable progress and economic and social development on the African continent.