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.