Solar vending stands provide power to Ethiopia’s remote villages

The concept of a solar-powered vending stand was dreamed up by Solarkiosk GmbH, a Berlin-based company. But the inaugural stands are not in Germany, but in Ethiopia – where Solarkioosk's recently launched its pilot programme.
According to the company’s website, the solar vending stand is aimed at the kind of places where “people sometimes have to travel for days to charge their mobile phones.” The concept is simple: solar panels on the stand’s roof produce electricity to “provide enough power for solar lighting, mobile phone and car-battery charging, a computer and even a solar fridge.”
The first stand went up on July 5 near Ethiopa’s Lake Langano. Here are photos posted on the company’s blog:
All the stands come in kits that must be assembled, much like Ikea furniture. The company says that the kits are lightweight and easy to carry, “even on a donkey’s back.” Certain components of the stand - bamboo, wood and metal - can be found locally.


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Interesting concept. Because I'm not familar with the business model of the company it appears to me that the ROI may be very long term if not funded by donations, grants, etc. Looks like a lot of thought and design expense went into this to enable it to be "easy to carry even on a donkey's back". I designed a similar solar recharging market stand for use in Nigeria utilizing plentiful small 10' shipping containers and adapting them with local labor.

Not a bad idea.. When they

Not a bad idea.. When they are ready to move to a solar tent made of flexible panels then they'll have something that is truly portable.