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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R035954/1
Title: SolaFin2Go (Solar Finance 2 Go)
Principal Investigator: MONDOL, Dr JD
Other Investigators:
ZACHAROPOULOS, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Built Environment
Organisation: University of Ulster
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 02 January 2018 Ends: 01 January 2019 Value (£): 136,538
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
More than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity and 90% of the population directly burn solid fuel for cooking, boiling water, lighting and heating. Significant issues exist in the continued lack of access to proper energy supply giving rise to detrimental socio-economic conditions, poor health and well being and local/global environmental concerns, exacerbated by population growth and urbanisation.

The SolaFin2Go project will address the challenge of providing standalone solar systems to make available cost effective and affordable access to electricity and thermal hot water for off-grid households in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective is to test the feasibility of 'entry level' technological solutions combining novel PV and solar thermal technologies financed through improved business PAYG models (enabled by the innovative FinTech platform through Mobile, Cloud and Blockchain technologies) that fit with household/community circumstances to provide basic electrification and hot water. Combining the partner technologies, resources and knowledge in this study has the potential to create a viable, cost effective off grid standalone solar solution to meet many of the challenges identified by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and directly relates to the Botswana Off Grid Plan and Energy Efficiencies plan. This unique project combines traditional PV systems with battery storage and solar thermal technologies packaged together under an energy, payment and customer management platform that has customer relationship at the heart of the finance model and also has significant potential to add to economic momentum in rural communities and to Transform Energy Access (TEA) for all.

Ulster University and SolaForm Ltd (a Northern Ireland start up spinout with an innovative near-market solar thermal product offering) have teamed up with dpSun/KRD Global Ltd (Poland/UK based PV Company with experience in microgrids) to combine their expertise to develop unique technology driven solar home solution/s for the Botswana market. EmPowered (Pty) Botswana has many years of experience in the Botswana energy and business markets. EmPowered (Pty) Botswana (Fintech solution provider) is supported by Stanbic Bank (as part of the EU WiSE Projects submission) and Barclays Bank. Combining the technologies, resources and knowledge of the partners in this study has the potential to create a viable, cost effective off grid standalone solar solution.

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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ulst.ac.uk