The impact of climate change is particularly severe on the African continent, causing higher temperatures, drought, changing rainfall patterns & increased climate variability. Additionally, the African population depends on rainfall for their food & income security, but their capacity for climate change adaptation methods is low since poverty leads to restricted choices at the individual level and governance fails to prioritize climate change actions.
As a solar energy infrastructure provider, Solera tackles the combat against climate change on different levels:
Around 480 million rural Africans don’t have access to electricity. Additionally, the widely dispersed nature of African communities forces them to rely on diesel generators to power basic economic activities, which exposes them to fluctuating prices, supply shocks & contributes to climate change through increased GHG emissions.
Solera’s SunSquare is a village-sized 25kWp solar powered rural off-grid infrastructure (clean energy, connectivity & space) that addresses productive use of energy by:
(i) Providing fe/male owned MSMEs with access to reliable, affordable & cleaner energy, thus upgrading commercial activities of existing & new MSMEs.
(ii) Enabling strategic partners to extend their products & services to positively impact rural communities in agriculture, retail, FMCG, education, healthcare, micro-finance, telecom & e-mobility.
One SunSquare unit saves up to 31,800 kg CO2eq annually compared to fossil fuel alternatives. Solera plans to install 300 SunSquare units across Zambia & 1,000 units in 3 other African countries until 2025 resulting in over 1m CO2eq saved and 30% energy savings by each customer.
Climate change exposes rural African communities to limited agricultural activity, restricted marketing opportunities, & malnutrition due to a maize-focused diet. Moreover, women are particularly restrained in their access & control over productive resources and participation along the agricultural value-chain.
Partnering with MUSIKA, Solera adapts a gender mainstreaming approach to tackle the constraints resulting from frequent draughts and impacts of climate change in Zambia.
SunSquare promotes agricultural diversity by focusing on value-addition of climate-resilient crops (groundnuts and sunflower) through solar power. Through SunSquare, farmers are trained to rotate their maize crops with groundnuts and sunflower to start climate-smart crop businesses. SunSquare provides the space and energy to power processing equipment and installs charging stations for electric vehicles for a safe, affordable and zero-emission system of farming and value-added products.
Solera’s SunSquare project benefits fe/male farmers and other stakeholders along the agriculture value-chain and contributes to smart & environmentally friendly solutions in the agricultural legume sub-sector.