First Assembling Company for Off-Grid Solar Power in Ethiopia

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First Assembling Company for Off-Grid Solar Power in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the second largest off-grid market in Sub-Saharan Africa: 68.8 million people live in remote regions. The market potential for the off-grid sector is nearly $ 9 billion USD (Source: OBIN Africa 2014). The Stiftung Solarenergie - Solar Energy Foundation is active in Ethiopia since 2003 with the aim of initiating a local solar industry. The Foundation has achieved a lot in recent years:

  • Awarded pilot projects such as the solar village of Rema
  • Training of solar technicians
  • Set up of an own micro-credit financing for end customers ("pay-to-own")
  • Establishment of a network of rural solar centers for installation, maintenance and customer service

In partnership with Niwa Solar and the distribution company SunTransfer, the first Ethiopian assembling company for the next generation of solar off-grid products was founded: STM Solar Technologies Manufacturing S.C.. The company is exclusively responsible for the production of:

  • MSS - Modular Solar Home Systems from Niwa.
  • Mobile solar lanterns from Niwa.
  • SunControl: pay-to-own charge controller from SunTransfer.

The products from Niwa are produced for the Ethiopian and East African countries. The "pay-to-own" charge controller will be produced also for export to Africa and Asia. With the assembling in Ethiopia not only the local added value is increased. But in future, it will also be possible for Ethiopian solar companies to get solar products from Niwa and SunTransfer even in small quantities and in local currency. Thus, the existing major foreign exchange problem will be solved for many Ethiopian solar companies. The assembling factory of STM Solar Technologies Manufacturing S.C. will be located in the "Solar Valley Ethiopia" (Oromiya Special Zone near Addis Ababa). For more information please visit and This article has originally been published by It has been re-posted with their permission.

Stiftung Solarenergie - Solar Energy Foundation

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