JCS Investments Limited has introduced to the Ghanaian market the first locally manufactured solar kiosk in Ghana. The Solar Kiosk, which is a German technology, is one of many kiosks to be produced for small-scale businesses. The robust and multi-functional lightweight unit, which can be easily transported, is tailored for use in rural and peri-urban communities. It thus allows mini businesses, such as barbering shops, small banks, restaurants and hairdressing salons, to operate efficiently in the local economy.
The Solar Kiosk is fully powered by solar energy; and would be placed in rural and peri-urban areas of Ghana. Currently, Solar Kiosk operates about 10 kiosks in different locations across Ghana. The kiosk can produce about 2 kilowatts of energy, and serve as an outlet for solar products.
At the launch of solar kiosks at Jamestown in Accra on September 8, Andreas Spiess, Chief Executive of Solar Kiosk, said the smart green start-up is an innovation that will impact businesses positively.
The range of solar products to be sold out largely for the benefit of rural folks, are solar cookers, bulbs, fridges, deep freezers and fans, to enable rural and deprived communities to have an alternative source of power and save the national electricity grid from excessive pressure. At the launch of the unit at James Town, a predominantly fishing community, Ms Patricia Safo, the Managing Director of JCS Investments, said the aim of the initiative was also to help reduce carbon emissions and deforestation, while promoting sustainable energy alternatives. She further said her company views renewable energy as being very important in providing alternative power to Ghanaians and empowering rural communities. She said the kiosk, also known as the E-Hubb, was a prototype, which produced two Kilowatts power of electricity.
“It serves as an outlet for renewable energy products, services and solutions and supports affordable products and appliances, such as cooking stoves, which run on solar energy,” she explained.
Ms Safo said 10 solar kiosks had been installed in four regions, and urged companies, such as financial institutions, to adopt this module as it could be modified to suit different applications. Brekusu in the Central Region, is the first of five communities in Ghana which is benefiting from the pilot project.
“The kiosk can produce energy for itself, and the excess can be sold, while the canopy attached to it can also support and supply households and businesses with energy,” she said.
Mr Andreas Spiess, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solarkiosk, which is based in Germany, said the product had a satellite dish component, which could help supply energy to other businesses.
Africa, with its abundant sunshine, derives only about two per cent of its energy needs from sunshine, while Germany with less sunshine, produces about 20 per cent solar energy.
Mr Spiess, therefore, urged African countries to maximise the use of the natural resource, as the global demand for energy was continually soaring.
Mr Spiess said the major challenge was the initial financing of the unit, explaining: “So we are collaborating with the banks to give upfront loans to people who want to buy the solar products, which is very efficient and can last longer.”
He urged the Government to support the initiative to enable private entities to invest in the economy.
Other partners in the project include the Energy Commission and JCS Investment Limited.