Image: Azuri Technologies
The off-grid solar sector has provided 245 million people with access to affordable, clean electricity in just nine years. To date, GOGLA members and IFC Lighting Global affiliates have sold 42 million off-grid solar products. And the industry is predicted to continue growing and serve millions of people in the years to come.
But with growth comes responsibility – the responsibility to put consumers first. GOGLA launched its Consumer Protection Code to guide and lead best practice among our members and the off-grid solar industry. Azuri Technologies – a commercial provider of PAYGo solar home systems for rural off-grid home in 12 different countries across East and West Africa – was one of the first companies to make a commitment to the GOGLA Consumer Protection Code. In this interview, Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO, Azuri Technologies talks about committing to GOGLA Consumer Protection Code, the role it plays in the success of his organisation and the future of the Code within the off-grid solar sector.
1) What does success look like to you, as a company?
With all the technological success we have seen in recent years, it seems crazy that a billion people cannot even turn on an electric light. Success in the broader sense is using modern renewable energy to offer these billion people the same opportunity to access the technology we all take for granted and the ability to benefit from the digital economy. Success for Azuri is to create a profitable, sustainable business that delivers our part in this transformation.
2) What do you think are the most important next steps for the off-grid solar industry to scale successfully?
Just keep going! This was never going to be an overnight transformation; it is a process of creating a new industry that delivers technology in new and exciting ways. The industry has grown impressively over the last decade and continues to do so, but these things don’t happen in an instant. It took the mobile industry nearly 20 years to become ubiquitous in Africa. It will take a while for other technologies to do the same.
Image: Simon Bransfield-Garth