Interview

tempo industry

Issue 83 - September | October 2019

Sascha Brandt from the solar contractor association Global Off-Grid Lighting Association reports on current trends in the off-grid solar sector.

Sascha Brandt, GOGLA
Sascha Brandt, GOGLA
Off-grid solar solutions for individual houses and villages spread in developing regions. Which trends do you observe?

Brandt: Off-grid solar energy is an exciting industry characterized by high-speed innovation. These innovations are triggered by the demands of customers in key markets such as East Africa. We are currently seeing increasing sales in larger solar home systems, which can also be used to operate appliances such as televisions and refrigerators. At the same time, the supply of solar-powered water pumps and other productive equipment is increasing, making farmers and small businesses less dependent on diesel generators. Crucial to the industry is the now widespread pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) business model. Instead of paying the full price of one product at a time, people regularly pay small installments by mobile phone. Through innovative technology and business models, the off-grid solar sector already provides more than 245 millions of people with basic access to electricity.

Do you also see negative developments?

BrandtWith the growth of the off-grid solar sector, the topic of electronic waste and its responsible disposal is also gaining importance. Although the solar sector accounts for only a fraction of the global e-waste, our member companies are increasingly active here by partnering with recycling companies or contributing to innovations for better disposal. We support the industry by sharing best practice and partnerships. Another unfavorable development is the influx of counterfeit or generic goods in key markets. These products can hurt the industry's overall reputation as they are sometimes lower quality or offered without customer service. Those companies that participate in the Lighting Global Quality Standard and the GOGLA Consumer Code show that they are committed to high product quality and consumer protection.

Vielen Dank für das Gespräch!

Photo: GOGLA

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