Kenya Posts

Update from Kenya: The SOL5 generates income
and supports the entrepreneurs

Posted Wednesday 12 October 2016 by Urs Riggenbach.

It is one thing to build and install the SOL5 solar concentrator, but it’s another one to use it. Knowing this, we did our best to train the two community businesses in Kenya where we’ve installed our SOL5 models in April/May. Now it has been four months since we’ve left Kenya, but with the usage reports we’re getting from the field we are confident to say: The SOL5 is used and useful, generates income, and supports the entrepreneurs.

SOL5 Pilot Field Data

Below are the key metrics of the field data generated over the last months. Much potential exists to improve these metrics, especially focusing around the issue of effective use that we’ll cover in another post.

SOL5 Roaster - Peanut Business

Metric Before After
Charcoal use / year 16 542 kg kWh 0 kg
Charcoal cost / year 803 € 0 €
Health Risks High risk No risk
SOL5 Roaster at the Yier Ngima Peanut Butter Cooperative.

SOL5 Oven - Bakery Business

Metric Before After
Electricity use / year 11400 kWh 3400 kWh
Electricity cost / year 990 € 297 €
CO2 emissions / year 6850 kg 2055 kg
SOL5 Oven at the Koptige Bakery.

Above are the key metrics from our pilots showing how much money the entrepreneurs save each month using the SOL5. In addition to the money, the businesses reported that they now produce more, at higher quality and with healthier working conditions.

More productive: The bakery was suffering from frequent power cuts. Sometimes it was impossible to bake without electricity, and sometimes an oven would stop working midway and the bread batch was lost. Now, with the SOL5 Oven, they do not depend on the unstable electricity grid anymore and are producing more.

Better quality: The roastery reported that with the SOL5 the peanuts do not get the smoky taste that they used to get with their previous charcoal roasters. Now, without the smoky taste they have a higher quality produce.

Better working conditions: When using charcoal and firewood as fuel, smoke is a big factor affecting worker’s heath. The ladies at the roasting business are pleased that there is no unhealthy smoke emission with the SOL5.


...And all of this while making monthly savings and reducing CO2 emissions.

More than ever are we convinced that GoSol’s SOL5 is a changemaker technology. Stay tuned!

Lady at Koptige Bakery taking out freshly baked muffins out of the SOL5 Oven installed in May 2016.

World Vision’s video presenting our work in Kenya

Posted Tuesday 28 June 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

In this beautiful video you are invited to understand fully what we have achieved in Kenya with the cooperation of Weconomy and World Vision Kenya.

One month after the end of this first phase, the communities have adopted the tech even faster than we thought and the women would be very happy to train others on how to build their solar concentrators. Enjoy!

Building the Direct Solar Economy

Posted Thursday 26 May 2016 by Urs Riggenbach.

Discover what has been accomplished in Kenya in partnership with Weconomy, Suomen World Vision and World Vision Kenya. It’s so powerful to see that these bakers and organic peanut butter producers. They are the seeds of an emerging direct solar economy.

Meeting the Kopitge Bakers in Kenya
and First Solar Bread Testing

Posted Monday 2 May 2016 by Will Cleaver.

We are proud to be able to help the Koptige Bakers by providing them with the knowledge to build and maintain a solar powered bakery that they can use on a daily basis regardless of the power cuts they sometimes suffer, that can last for days.
Baking with solar ovens, watch the video below to see the first results of working with the clean renewable energy source that is the sun!
Their work is supported by the NGO World Vision Kenya. World Vision Kenya is working closely with Word Vision Finland where the Weconomy Start supports social impact companies to meet their market and lean on their extensive experience in the field.

Building Sol5 Solar Concentrators in Kenya

Posted Wednesday 27 April 2016 by Will Cleaver.

Our best solar oven and roaster builder Lorin Symington has been in Kenya for a few weeks making our Sol5 solar concentrator to roast peanuts and bake bread. After having sourced all material for the solar concentrator locally and worked with a local team of metal workers great success has been achieved and two fully functional Sol5 solar concentrators with oven and roaster are now ready. Get a feel for the construction process in this short video:

Two Inspiring Events Upcoming in Helsinki

Posted Friday 15 April 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

"Are you “Value Conscious” and “Values Conscious”?
Do you want to learn how to do more with less?
Do you want to know how to innovate under resource constraints and cost controls?
Are you already working on or want to learn more about high impact, new tech, sustainable and affordable solutions?
Then, InnoFrugal during April 25-26, 2016 in Helisnki is your answer."

Thanks to Weconomy, we are more than happy to be part of this great InnoFrugal event in Helsinki on April 25. The title of the discussion is: ‘Beyond Gift in Kind – Creating Shared Value in Development and Humanitarian Assistance’.

"Private sector can add tremendous value, innovation, and competence to overall humanitarian capacity. The private sector brings skills, experience, and expertise, and possibly new practices and perspectives to the humanitarian aid community. The session will highlight, how partners from the private sector can collaborate with global NGO WV in its responds to humanitarian disasters."

Check out the programme here, with plenty of creative people sharing about Frugal Innovation, Circular Economy, Open Innovation and more.

We’ll be also sharing our current project with World Vision Kenya with the Weconomy team during a workshop at Bronda’s on April 27.

Meeting a Courageous Kenyan Women’s Community

Posted Wednesday 13 April 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

Our whole team is thrilled to be watching Lorin’s first footage from Kenya because these women are the reason we all joined this amazing solar adventure. We have dreamed and developed our tech to meet their needs, the daily needs of people having a productive activity that can be fueled with local solar energy.

The Yier Ngima Group you’re about to meet is producing organic peanut butter. They support HIV affected people and orphan kids. They are big hearted people. Their work is supported by the NGO World Vision Kenya. World Vision Kenya is working closely with Word Vision Finland where the Weconomy Start program supports social impact companies to meet their market and lean on their extensive experience in the field. We started cooperation with the Weconomy team about a year ago and we can’t wait to share with you more videos presenting another group of bakers and the solar concentrators built and working!! Stay tuned!

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