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.