NIWA Solar Fights Energy Poverty
“Our goal is to fight energy poverty.” says Ti el Attar, founder of NIWA Solar. So Ti developed a system to end energy poverty in the world. The problem is, as often in developing countries, related to financing. Most people living in rural environments do not even have a choice, but if electricity is available, people have to pay over 250 USD to get an electrical connection, an investment too high for the majority. Also, micro financing and pay-as-you-go are not the best solutions – complex in implementation and too difficult to scale.
NIWA’s approach is a different one: step-by-step investment is the keyword. NIWA offers fully scaleable solar systems which grow with consumer’s evolving needs and liquidity.
The approach is a very practicable one, as it is very close to the income realities of farmers, who make a 90% of the clients. Customers flexibly purchase modules over time and grow from one single lamp into a fully electrified home. Deciding only by themselves, how far and at what pace they want to grow and invest. Aiming for a future of solar independence, one step at a time, slowy-slowly.
Ti's professional experience looks back to more than 10 years experience of product development and consumer research for companies like Siemens, Nokia and Samsung in the consumer electronics and medical field. "I always worked at the junction where consumer understanding meets technology innovation and product design."
"Around 6 years ago while working with a research team at Nokia Japan I found myself conducting a qualitative research study in the slums of Accra / Ghana. At that time people living in the slum opened up my eyes about their everyday challenges and approaches to deal with them. MSS, or modular solar systems, first of all is a cultural product, translating people’s everyday investment behaviour into a product solution."
Electricity is one of the key enablers for economic growth, on the community and national level. Economic growth provides access to food, better education and wealth which also supports peace. Electricity not only saves up to 30% of families income which they would otherwise spend for kerosene, disposable batteries and fuel for generators but also boosts local businesses. (Not to mention all the great benefits electric light provides to families and kids). So ultimately sustainable energy is a cash machine. Germany first realized that, African and Asian countries follow next in an even smarter and more sophisticated way. Independent, highly cost and energy efficient and completely de-centralized energy home grids are the result not requiring billions of dollars for investment in the national grids. Scale happens from the bottom up, flexible and by people’s on means, pace and preferences. We need to allow families, businesses and governments to set their own priorities. You can be sure electricity always ranges quite high on their list.""
- excepts from MaketechX interview