Solar solutions to meet the challenge of energy access in Africa

Even though access to energy is improving around the world, 840 million people are still deprived of electricity on a daily basis. According to a 2019 World Bank report, 15 of the 20 countries with the largest electricity access deficit are located in Africa. For this continent where the sunshine rate is among the highest on earth, solar energy represents great hope to provide everyone with reliable and sustainable access to electricity at a lower cost.

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Lighting and connecting the world sustainably

Since its inception, Sunna Design is committed to access to energy for all. Thanks to its solar solutions and its expertise in energy production, storage and management technologies, it allows to install efficient and robust public lighting systems in record time, in cities but also suburban and rural areas, often lacking the possibility of connecting to the traditional electric network.  

The installation of a solar public lighting system has many benefits for the people. Access to electricity allows to recover safety and social link at nightfall, whether on the roads or within the villages (squares, public infrastructures, etc). Access to energy has an impact on the economic development of the areas concerned: small businesses can for example open later at nightfall. Installing solar street lamps in remote areas also helps fighting against rural depopulation and promoting demographical rebalancing, another essential challenge for the African continent.

For Sunna Design, responding to the problems of areas with a lack of access to energy means responding to them sustainably. Betting on solar is of course bringing clean energy in line with the ecological transition. It also means opting for natural energy without any contamination of the air affecting the heath of populations, unlike kerosene lighting, widely spread in areas of the African continent without access to energy.


Sunna Design and solar lighting in Africa

Sunna Design’s solar solutions have been deployed in more than 60 countries, of which a third are Africans. The technology developed by the company is in fact particularly suited to this continent, notably thanks to its exceptional resistance to climate constraints, enabling to guarantee a minimum of 10 years of maintenance-free operation. Withstanding temperatures of +70°C, Sunna Design’s solar street lamps are an ideal solution for a continent where some countries have up to twice as much sunshine as France. This remarkable solar potential is coupled with an unprecedented effort by governments to electrify their countries, making it possible to implement ambitious projects.

Among its various achievements on African soil, Sunna Design has for example installed in Congo a Nanogrid system, an outdoor solar street lamp capable of lighting a public space, supplying up to 4 households with electricity, and allowing its members to recharge their cell phones and other small electronic devices. With the help of a crowdlending having raised the record sum of 500.000 euros in 2016, Sunna Design was also able to develop its Nanogrid technology in Senegal, among 2.500 households in the Casamance region.

In 2018, in Gabon, more than 2,000 iSSL Maxi Roads were deployed across the country to the delight of local people. Another example is the seafront of Safi beach in Morocco, where walks are now possible even at night, thanks to the solar energy optimized by the iSSL Maxi 4 range of autonomous street lamps.

In 2021, the company signs a contract of 40 million euros with the government of Togo for a project to deploy solar street lamps on an unprecedented scale: 50.000 photovoltaic street lights, which represents the electrification of 12.000 villages, benefiting to 500.000 rural households, or 1.5 million inhabitants. Like this high-impact project for energy access in Africa, Sunna Design hopes to continue its collaboration with the various countries of the continent, especially those areas most deprived of electricity, in order to bring light wherever it is still lacking.



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Sunna Design is the leader of solar energy management for autonomous and connected applications, with solar street lighting being our core business.

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