BBOX strikes home solar power deal with DRC

BBOX DRC StoryCustomers will be able to pay US$15 per month for a light, radio and phone system. (Image source: United Nations Photo/Flickr)Solar energy company BBOXX said it has signed an agreement with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to bring electricity to 2.5mn citizens by 2020

BBOX said that the government is providing a tax exemption on the solar equipment, bringing down the cost of installation.

Customers will be able to pay US$15 per month for a light, radio and phone system.

According to USAID, the DRC has one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world at just 9 per cent.

The company has been operating with its partner, Victron Energy, to provide pay-as-you-go solar power systems.

BBOX signed a deal last year with the Government of Togo to roll out 300,000 solar home systems by 2022.

“It is really encouraging to see the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recognize off-grid energy solutions as instrumental to providing electricity to its citizens. The government has provided the right regulatory framework and tariff policies that has allowed private companies like BBOXX to work effectively in the country’s energy industry for the benefit of its citizens. We are also looking forward to working with the Government to support their campaign to raise awareness of the country’s energy access deficit – and playing a significant role in solving this pressing issue," Laurent Van Houcke, chief operations officer and co-founder of BBOXX, said.

“There are currently over 1 billion people in the world without access to electricity – we are committed to dramatically reducing this number. Our vision is to harness the power of pioneering data and technology to leapfrog traditional grid infrastructures and generate sustainable economic development by providing an on-grid experience in an off-grid setting,” Van Houcke added.

“The private sector has a key role to play in the off-grid electrification of the DRC. The DRC has passed a law in 2014 to completely privatise the energy sector to attract private investors. This partnership with BBOXX will bring basic energy services through a unique technology to the large off-grid population base in DRC,” Minister of Rural Development in DRC, Bitakwira Bihona-Hayi Justin said.

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