WiSolar readies on-demand solar energy app

Energy solutions company WiSolar is launching an on-demand solar app, which it hopes will drive the adoption of solar energy across Africa.

CEO Tonye Irims says grid instability and rolling blackouts have increased the popularity of renewable energy, and WiSolar wants to “make solar electricity accessible and just as affordable as your home WiFi”.

The country is suffering continual power challenges, with companies and households turning to renewable energy, opting to get off the grid.

“The mission is solar electricity for everyone, while eliminating friction and fragmentation in the residential marketplace,” Irims tells ITWeb.

“In order for customers to purchase prepaid solar electricity tokens conveniently to reload their system from anywhere in the world and load remotely, a mobile app was required. Our app is in alpha mode and will be live on the Apple and Google Play stores in a few weeks.”

He says the app will enable prepaid solar customers to buy recharge tokens for their solar power and they will also be automatically enrolled on the platform as merchants to sell packages and earn commissions.

WiSolar’s current model sees systems installed at properties that are then paid for over as long as 72 months through the prepaid purchase of power.

According to Irims, there is massive demand for solar, especially with the growing focus on renewable sources of power and disinvestment in coal.

“The energy market in South Africa is still predominantly coal-powered, making up about 80%. Renewables such as solar will only become ubiquitous when residential solar power is no longer exclusive or a huge capital expenditure.

“Solar electricity at around 90c per kWh is a low-cost clean alternative. Many commercial centres, industries, shopping centres, hospitals have since incorporated solar power in their energy mix.”

The Bronkhorstspruit-based WiSolar has already been rolling out a prepaid, decentralised solar electricity solution in South Africa.

The company has also been financing consumers to purchase their desired solar system through a six-year payment path to ownership, which the company believes will help reduce dependence on fossil fuel coal and the impact on the environment.

The monthly payment plan of up to 72 months is available across all solar electricity packages provided by the company to residential and commercial customers.

With the financing option, the company joined the likes of Nedbank, which offer specialised home solar financing options to clients as a cost-effective way to afford a home solar system.

WiSolar has since installed approximately 9MW of residential solar power in SA, providing clean power for over 3 000 homes.

Irims says: “The vision of WiSolar is a Pan-African green digital utility for electricity. We intend to intensify our presence in Nigeria this year, and then entry into Tanzania, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

“We will be creating opportunities for over a 1 000 electrical and solar engineers over the next five years in South Africa alone. Renewable energy will make up almost half of the continent’s power generation by 2040.”

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