Essay Example. Race for Solar Power in Africa

Published: 2023-03-27
Essay Example. Race for Solar Power in Africa
Type of paper:  Article review
Categories:  Business World Business strategy
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 462 words
4 min read

Black Star Energy is the developer, operator, and owner of solar-powered off-grids. It provides services that enable off-grid communities to access electricity that is scalable, reliable, and affordable to meet the needs of commercial and households. On the other hand, Off-Grid Electric is a home-based solar system. Though the two methods of electrification utilize solar energy to provide communities in sub-Saharan Africa with power, there are quite distinct. This essay compares and contrasts the two forms of control in Africa, especially on the role of cell phones in their payment process. To effectively attain this, the article by (McKibben 2017) will be analyzed.

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The similarity between Black Star Energy and Off-Grid Electric is that they both use solar energy. As such, their significant difference is how they are made accessible to society. Black Star taps solar energy through the installation of a microgrid that can store power enough to supply to the communities using overhead cables. Contrary to this, Off-Grid Electric is taping of solar power by use of small solar panels systems installed on the roofs of individual households. Black Star energy has an advantage over Off-Grid Electric in that it can provide high and more reliable power. According to the article, the Daban community in Ghana can now use Black star Energy to safely store their yellow fever vaccine, charge their phones at the comfort of their homes, and also use gadgets such as refrigerators. As opposed to this form of application, Off-Grid Electric cannot produce enough energy to support appliances such as fridges. However, it provides power enough to support a few lights, mobile chargers, and small TV (McKibben, 2017).

The payment process is also another aspect that creates a difference in the two forms of solar electrification. In the case of Off-Grid Electric, the cost is incurred only during installation. However, Black Star Energy is operated by an organization, and hence monthly bills are required. Though Black Star Energy is mostly preferred due to its convenience and reliability due to the provision of enough energy, the payment process can be a significant hindrance. However, due to the application of mobile money, which is an easy and convenient method of paying bills, this challenge has been solved (McKibben, 2017).

Both Off-Grid Electric and Black Star are systems that help African communities to access power. Both methods are similar in that they make use of solar energy. However, due to the ability of Black Star Energy to provide enough energy even to support appliances such as the fridge as opposed to Off-Grid Electric, it is becoming the preferable solar electrification system. Payment processes that use cell phones through mobile money further make their operations more convenient.


McKibben, B. (2017, June 26). The Race to Solar-Power Africa. Retrieved from

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