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When the Worst is Good Enough

Gulu: solar

You’re a road-side vendor offering phone charging services – what are the pre-conditions for investing in a solar panel for your business? A lack of mains electricity or very poor mains electricity; cost to buy, maintain; versatility; risk of theft (for smaller panels); effectiveness (speed of charging, discharging); weather conditions; an ability to purchase said solar panel; and ultimately a willing consumer base in range of a cell tower.

Are you going to invest in a solar panel if its likely the grid to extend to your neighbourhood. This isn’t an environmental investment, its cost driven.

On this trip I’ve seen off-grid road-side charging services using a single solar panel to charge phones. The photo above actually shows a solar panel for sale – the owner stall was recently connected to the grid – his business undercut.

Cost of a car battery recharge? ~1,500 Shillings (~0.6 Euro)
Cost of a phone battery recharge? ~500 Shillings (~0.2 Euro)

For people of the grid power don’t come cheap.