Updated Dec 17, 2020

Micha Dhanjal

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Designed with emerging markets in mind, the SolarHome 620 by BioLite is an ultra-affordable solar home system that brings modern lighting, phone charging and entertainment to the off-grid home.

The BioLite SolarHome 620 brings reliable light, phone charging and entertainment, replacing toxic kerosene lighting. The easy-to-install solar panel captures daily sun to charge a central control box which powers 4 indoor lights, a USB charge-out and an MP3/FM radio system. Designed as a modular solution, customers can upgrade their existing SolarHome 620 units seamlessly by choosing which ...
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The BioLite SolarHome 620 brings reliable light, phone charging and entertainment, replacing toxic kerosene lighting. The easy-to-install solar panel captures daily sun to charge a central control box which powers 4 indoor lights, a USB charge-out and an MP3/FM radio system. Designed as a modular solution, customers can upgrade their existing SolarHome 620 units seamlessly by choosing which power and/or lighting components are most relevant to them and easily add to their system as household energy needs increase. We’re excited to offer additional energy solutions that grow with our customers. We partner with last mile distributors across emerging markets that offer end user financing, dividing the total cost of the system into affordable monthly instalments, so that customers can pay for BioLite products over 6-24 months. This enables our products to reach even the most isolated and under-served areas, tackling the fundamentals of energy poverty, the BoP (Base of the Pyramid).
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Stage 5: Scaling

To date, BioLite has distributed over 200,000 SolarHome 620 units across and beyond Sub-Saharan Africa. Based on current forecasts, we estimate that BioLite will sell over 200,000 additional units across emerging markets over the next 18 months.

Focus Areas:

Energy Efficiency, Lighting, Solar and 7 MoreSEE ALL

Energy Efficiency, Lighting, Solar, Humanitarian Assistance, Health, Gender, Environment, Clean Cooking, Gender Equity and Natural ResourcesSEE LESS

Implemented In:

United States, United Kingdom, Uganda and 12 MoreSEE ALL

United States, United Kingdom, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Mexico, Kenya, Japan, India, Germany, France, Canada and AustraliaSEE LESS

15
Countries Implemented In
1,242,576
Customers
87
Employees

Problem

Three billion people worldwide lack access to safe, affordable ways to cook their meals and light their homes. They cook over polluting open fires or inefficient stoves, and use harmful kerosene lamps for lighting their homes, both of which lead to devastating climate consequences. Women and girls, who spend the most time collecting fuel and working in the kitchen using inefficient lighting, are disproportionately affected by these issues.

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Solution

Our unique technology and distribution model transform the way off-grid families cook, charge devices and light their homes, while eliminating the environmental, health and social costs of open-fire cooking and kerosene lighting. The SolarHome 620 is an affordable solar home system that brings modern lighting, phone charging and entertainment to the off-grid home. The SolarHome 620 is expandable and can be built into a larger modular system.

Target Beneficiaries

BioLite's target market consists of customers living in rural or peri-urban parts of Africa and Asia that earn less than USD 5 per day and have intermittent or no access to electricity. They cook with charcoal, wood or other biomass in a precarious way, losing time and money on fuel acquisition. Typically, 60-80% are women and up to 90% require financing to pay for the products.

Mission and Vision

At BioLite, we believe in a world where everyone has access to clean and reliable energy. We develop, manufacture, and distribute energy technologies that deliver clean cooking, light, and charge to off-grid communities around the world. We use advanced thermoelectric, solar, and power management technologies to help us fulfil our mission of bringing energy everywhere.

Competitive Advantage

Most BoP clean energy companies develop products in a siloed manner, focusing on a single aspect of energy access such as cooking, lighting, refrigeration, or water purification. However, the same customers often lack access to all of these basic forms of energy. As such, BioLite takes a holistic approach to energy access by developing and commercialising technologies that deliver a range of energy services in a single, integrated ecosystem. Through this approach, BioLite can address multiple basic energy needs simultaneously, more cost effectively than in products sold separately, and with a shared PAYG mechanism for easy payment transfer and data collection. In addition, by building distribution channels for multiple product categories, BioLite can more effectively leverage our investment in field operations, thereby reducing costs and driving efficiency in customer acquisition, sales, partner management, logistics, and service and maintenance.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Based on current forecasts, we estimate that BioLite will sell over 200,000 additional units across emerging markets over the next 18 months. Our newest SolarHome solution is the SolarHome 5000, a transformative leap up the energy ladder, it delivers high-capacity power generation and storage for the modern home. Featuring a 50 watt solar panel and 115 watt hour control box, customers can charge mobile devices and even run the included television for on-demand connectivity and entertainment.
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted1,242,576

The Team Behind the Innovation

We are a team of engineers and designers, operators and analysts, story tellers and evangelists, who believe that advanced technologies, built on sustainable business practices, have the power to change the world. Our founders, Jonathan and Alec, met at Smart Design in New York City where they quickly bonded over their interest in sustainable design. We now have 87 employees across the USA, Kenya and France, and continue to expand!

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

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Australia
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Canada
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France
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Uganda
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United Kingdom
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United States