Taken from www.lightingafrica.org

The solar portable light (SPL) market is poised for rapid growth over the next five years.

In its initial phase, the Base of Pyramid (BOP) lighting market was characterized by larger solar PV systems, such as Solar Home Systems (SHS), that have been marketed commercially in countries like Kenya and Tanzania, used to provide fee-for-service electricity services in markets like South Africa, and also supported by many donors as an option for off-grid electrification across the continent. Additionally, the market featured a handful of technologically immature and expensive SPL CFL products often unsuited to the African consumer and a growing array of low cost, low quality LED products retailed commercially at $1-10 each and primarily powered by disposable batteries.

While donor-based models remain and SHS are still an important and growing segment, the lighting market has now entered a new growth phase that is being led by SPL entrepreneurs, often relying purely on market-based models, utilizing the latest technology and designing based on consumer tastes.

Yet, scale remains small, price – even though it has dropped significantly over the past few years – is still a barrier, the technology and product build quality have space to improve, and the vast majority of customers still need to be reached.

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