More and more South Africans are considering solar power — for obvious reasons. The largest obstacle is the price. Well, what if you could get your solar power via an app. Sounds weird, right? Solar specialist WiSolar reckons it has the idea figured out, though.
WiSolar has a plan to launch pre-paid solar power via an app, that will launch in SA in July. Much like a pre-paid electricity meter, it’ll allow users to purchase power by the kWh. But there are a few glaring questions — like where this solar power is going to come from. Plus, how much will it cost.
Exploring the WiSolar system
The second question is rather easy to answer. Pricing for the company’s solar solution will work out to about R0.90 per kWh. That’s a rather steep discount on South Africa’s recent average price of R2.55 or so per kWh. But that still leaves the infrastructure question.
Which is a fair one. By the look of things, WiSolar’s solution won’t be available to all and sundry. That power has to come from somewhere, and it can’t be shipped in remotely. The company intends to target housing developments specifically, installing its solar panels there. These are then paid off by the developers over a set period, using funds gathers from users buying tokens via the app.
This could kill a few birds with a single stone. WiSolar widens its install base and makes some cash. Developers make their complexes a little more attractive (and Eskom-proof). And residents benefit from cheaper power, and lights that stay on all the time, without having to pay for installation.
WiSolar founder Tonye Irims said, “The developers, which will be the guys that have the users in their estate using their prepaid system, will also be able to earn commission on every recharge. Once the end-user recharges, a fraction of the recharge goes to the developer, and the rest is payment for the solar electricity.”
Source: Business Insider