Ethiopia Becomes Home to First SolarKiosk

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Just over a month ago, the first SolarKiosk opened near Lake Langano, in Ethiopia. The project was conceived by Germany-based Graft Architects as part of a bigger move to bring clean power to people in regions of the world who live off the grid and rely on burning biomass for cooking and heating. As a consequence, their health suffers due to fumes they breathe in. The UN says that almost three billion live in those conditions.

A SolarKiosk is designed to provide enough power for villagers to charge their mobile phones and car batteries, run a computer, or power up a solar fridge. Goods sold from the Kiosk include solar lanterns, mobile phones, and cards to top-up cellular devices. The kiosk could also provide television, music, and internet depending on the location.

The designers were careful to make the transportation of the kiosk as easy as possible. Therefore it has been designed as a kit of parts that is assembled once it arrives at its target destination. The packages are lightweight and do not require a container.

Graft Architects say that a larger-size SolarKiosk could even produce enough energy to run a telecom tower and a group of kiosks could be connected to form a local grid.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

  • Ralph

    Good start. Powering cell stations that will bring free quality online education to any cell phone or computer is the next step. Bringing the educational level of the under developed countries to a higher level is a high priority item. Sites like “Books should be free.com” and other similar sites (Khan academy, Big shot camera etc.) should be made available to anyone with motivation to raise their quality of life.