The Twin Challenge

Learn more about the twin challenge

Affordable access to electricity and the internet is something that is taken for granted in much of the world.

But 580m people live off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa and so are forced to use kerosene lamps for lighting. These are not only expensive to run but a serious risk to health.

Charging a phone is an obvious challenge if you live off-grid. While 85% of the population live off-grid, more than 80% have access to a mobile phone, although it is usually a feature phone with very limited capabilities.

So a huge divide is opening up between Africa’s urban dwellers and those in rural areas who, without internet access, risk being excluded from the digital revolution that is sweeping the continent.

Trend Solar addresses these twin challenges with easy-to-use and affordable technology.

Our Solar Home System (SHS) has been designed to provide a cheaper and cleaner alternative to people who live off-grid and so may have to walk miles to buy kerosene for lighting or recharge a phone.

It is estimated that African households that are Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) spend around 25% -30% of their annual income on lighting and phone charging.

As well as affordable power for lighting and charging, Trend Solar’s SHS package comes with a full-spec, 4G 5.0-inch smartphone.

The smartphone is an integral part of the solution as it has an app that lets the consumer buy their energy on a pay-as-you-go basis using any of Africa’s established mobile payment services.

The smartphone also opens the door to the endless communication and entertainment possibilities of the mobile internet, of course.

For the millions of BoP households in Africa who have not been able to afford a phone or have been limited to a simple feature phone, the smartphone is undoubtedly the stand-out benefit of Trend Solar.

Like other systems, we also monitor the usage and battery information to help us provide the best customer and product support we can. That’s the Trend difference.