News

Happy news – grant received

Last week Solar Bora recieved great news!

We are happy to announce that we have received a second grant from Vinnova as a part of their program Innovative startups.  For us, this means that we can speed up our work in Mali. We have set our goals high, and with this grant we will be able to reach them.

Right now, we will focus our work on delivering a well functioning solar driven cooking solution to the kitchen at Direction Nationale des Eaux et Forêts in Bamako, to minimize their usage of fire wood. We will also be delivering a solar solution for a girls school in Kenya, to replace their diesel generator and provide a more reliable and sustainable solution.

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Sustainable development goal #7

In Sweden, where we have our head office, the electricity grid is well developed and the energy is cheap. We seldom have power outages. The few times there is an outage it normally just take a couple of hours before the power comes back again and people can continue with whatever they were doing. This is an incredible luxury that is not avaliable for everyone. One of the 17 sustainable development goals says that it should be, and we couldn’t agree more.

Goal 7 says that we should ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The UN states that “sustainable energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet”. We want to do this. We will do this. We are doing it right now.

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Sustainable development goal #1

How would you use an extra 2-4 hours each day? How does Solar Bora contribute to UN SDG#1 No Poverty?
The Solar Bora Next Generation Solar Household System not only help the families move from wood or charcoal cooking into clean cooking by electricity. It will also free up a significant amount of time each day for the women.
From the Solar Bora Pilot Project in Mali this has been seen to be 2-4 hours per day. Naturally, this is generally time for the women, as they are mainly responsible for these tasks in the household today.
These 2-4 hours are a combination of the time it normally takes to collect wood each day (if not illegal) and that the temperature management of the cooking is much easier with an induction cooker compared to a traditional stove.
Combine this with a spare set of energy in the SolarBora system that allows for some further activities.
At Solar Bora we believe that this time will be used by the women to build micro enterprises, to create new climate resilient income that will improve the lives of the family and the local population.
What do you believe would be the best usage of the extra time and energy?
Read more about the UN SDG #1 at:
Let’s make the world a better place!

Solar Bora completes Phase One of Innovative Startups project

Solar Bora received a first step of funding from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, as a part of the program called Innovative Startups (for more information in Swedish, click here). As part of this funding Solar Bora have now completed the initial prototype development steps and verified these in a field trial in Mali.

Some of the conclusions from this field trial were:

  • The Solar Bora concept definitely works!
    • You can cook food using solar & battery powered induction stoves.
  • Transitioning from traditional cooking using wood or charcoal to induction stoves is easier than predicted.
    • Some support and training might facilitate to maximize the efficiency and minimize the efforts for the women cooking, but to get the food just as good as before is easy.
  • Industrialization of the prototype will be the next step.
    • The market demand for the product seem to be significant, but it of course requires a product that can sustain the conditions where it is supposed to be used.

The traditional way of cooking with charcoal or fire wood either requires many hours per day of active work to collect wood or costs around 40% of the household disposable income. It also generates Household Air Pollution (HAP), which is bad for your health. An example of this traditional way of cooking can be seen below.

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With Solar Bora you change the way of cooking to what you can see below. This is saving the women 3 – 4 hours per day since the cooking goes faster and they never need to fetch wood or go to buy charcoal. It is also eliminating HAP and saving on average 7 ton CO2 per year and family.

Berthe induction cooking

The Solar Bora value proposition is rather simple

  • Empower women by reducing the cooking time with modern induction cooking techniques
  • Generate incremental income based on access to grid-quality electricity, for example with
    • Shops offering the sale of ice
    • Ironing of clothing
    • Small scale workshops using battery/grid powered tools (drilling, sewing, cutting etc.)
  • Improve health via reduction of Household air Pollution (HAP) moving from wood and charcoal to induction cooking
  • Reduce the amount of CO2 generated by cooking by replacing wood and charcoal with solar energy

 

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Solar Bora is grateful for the support from Vinnova and the program for Innovative Startups in Sweden. Without this support it would have been significantly more difficult to perform this field trial and to develop solutions that further the transition to a sustainable development of the Sahel region.

Expanded presence in Kenya

Solar Bora have analysed the potential market in Kenya, and we are confident that it is ready for the uniquely differentiated SolarBora offering.

We are therefore happy to announce that we have recruited a country manager for Kenya, we are welcoming Ednah Chebet to our team! Chebet is supporting the Solar Bora expansion in Kenya in regards to all practical issues related to sales, delivery and customer satisfaction.

Chebet has a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Moi University, and has great knowledge of the market for Solar products in Kenya. She has previously worked at the National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) in Kenya and as a sales person at a private company. She currenty lives in western Kenya with her family.

We are happy to have her with us!

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