M-Kopa wins Zayed Future Energy prize


From Left to right: M-KOPA Solar Executive Chairman Nick Hughes with Jesse Moore Managing Director, and Chad Larson, Finance Director display the award certificate after winning in the SME Category of Zayed Future Energy Prize 2015. M-KOPA Solar was recognized for its ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy services for off grid customers that combine mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to enable the leasing of solar power systems. 

M-KOPA Solar has won the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize at the opening ceremony of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. This is the world’s leading renewable energy and sustainability award and M-KOPA is the first company headquartered in Sub-Saharan Africa to win in the enterprise and SME categories.

M-KOPA Solar is the market leader in ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy services for off-grid customers – combining mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to enable the leasing of solar power systems. Since its launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected more than 150,000 homes in East Africa to solar power and is adding over 500 new homes each day.

M-KOPA Solar customers buy a solar home system with an initial deposit of US $35, followed by 365 daily payments of 43 US cents – which is cheaper than their daily spend on kerosene. After completing the payment package, customers own the system outright.

Jesse Moore, MD, M-KOPA Solar says, “We are honored to win the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The prize brings global attention to M-KOPA Solar’s business model, which has brought clean, affordable solar power to 150,000 homes in East Africa in less than three years. We believe that the ‘wireless energy’ revolution is just beginning and that M-KOPA Solar will soon power millions living off the grid.The Zayed Future Energy Prize brings with it a US $1.5 million (Kshs 133 million) prize. M-KOPA Solar will use these funds to launch a training and development program called M-KOPA University, which will provide world class technical and business skills development to employees, sales agents and partners.

Jesse Moore says, “We’ve proven that our technology can scale and – thanks to great work by our team – we’ve already reached a pace of 500 plus sales per day in East Africa. And yet there is demand for our solution in tens of millions of homes. With the recognition and backing of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we will continue to develop our exceptional team in order to reach millions of customers as soon as we can.”

M-KOPA University will be hosted in the company’s Nairobi headquarters to provide an onsite and remote curriculum. By 2018 M-KOPA University will provide training to over 1,000 staff and 3,000 sales agents across East Africa, as well as to M-KOPA’s licensing and distribution partners in other parts of Africa and Asia.

The US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize, established by the United Arab Emirates government in 2008, recognizes organizations, schools and individuals across the world that have made significant contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability.

In seven years, the Zayed Future Energy Prize winners and finalists have positively impacted the lives of more than 150 million people around the world – delivering access to clean energy and water, championing the deployment of renewable energy and creating hundreds of jobs.

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