Changing the history of schools in Kenya was the inspiration for Wenjing Yang, a graduate of the Program in Innovation and Spatial Dynamics at Lund University, to create Solar4Schools. This project develops an end to end technology enabling consumers in developing settings to self-finance solar products.
Wenjing Yang’s transformative idea was awarded as Most Potential in the RISE showcase (Real Impact on Society and Environment) by Universitas21. During her presentation, Yang explained how she was able to develop solar power to provide basic lighting and mobile charging to schools in Kenya, generating revenue for the school as a charging business, and reducing carbon emissions.
This idea was inspired during her field trip in Kenya back in 2018, where she heard many schools complain about the electricity issue on the ground. “If we can make those solar products affordable, we will be able to change millions of schools’ lives”, claimed Yang.
Due to this event, the project has become known and it was also a great opportunity to improve it and measure the social and climate impact the project has achieved. So far, Solar4Schools is growing and by replacing kerosene with solar energy, schools are significantly reducing their carbon emissions by 91%.
“We completed the team last year, now we are a startup based in Medicon Village (Lund, Sweden). The Sweden team consists of 4 people, while on the ground we also have a local team based in Nairobi helping us with project implementation and maintenance”, Yang mentioned.
The focus for this year is to improve the product (MVP2.0) based on the customer feedback the team received from the first pilot last year, and hopefully launch the product in June 2020.