Coca-Cola Launching Solar-Powered African Kiosks

Coca-Cola is using green technology to consolidate its African market share. The global soft drink giant is offering heavily subsidized solar power kits to kiosk owners—the hope is that wiring previously grid-free grocery kiosks for electricity will allow them to stay open longer into the day, and sell more Coca-Cola products. Partner One Degree Solar is providing Coca-Cola with their BrightBulb solar kits, which will then be distributed to thousands of grocery kiosks across Kenya.

"Most of our customers in Kenya are families without electricity at home, and it is great to see the system lead to such significant benefits for small business owners as well. It is exciting to see these entrepreneurs able to stay open longer and earn more, especially as their kiosks are often the only location in their neighborhoods with lights at night," said One Degree Solar founder Gaurav Manchanda in a release.

Thanks to east Africa's rapid economic development and relatively limited infrastructure, the region has become a hotbed for novel green development. Startup Angaza recently launched pay-as-you-go solar power, while biochar is becoming an important energy source. NGOs have also helped develop portable clinics in rural regions.

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  • One Degree Solar

    Hi Neal - 

    Thanks for covering this story! We'd just like to clarify that Coca Cola corporate purchased systems at our retail price for our initial pilot of 100 kiosks, and the kiosk owners are paying for 'BrightBox' systems moving forward. The non-subsidized, market-based approach, and sense of ownership are critical for projects like this as they lead to increased product longevity for a variety of reasons.

    For a bit more detail: research conducted by Nielsen during our 6-month pilot found that these small business owners earned over 15% extra revenue on average, while decreasing energy spending by 90%! We look forward to scaling this initiative to thousands of off-grid shops in Kenya and other markets.

    Thanks again!

    One Degree Solar