The sudden interest is fueled by the advent of relatively low-cost LEDs, …., powering lightbulbs required a solar panel that could generate 20 to 30 watts, …. LEDs are far more efficient. Now people can have bright lighting using a panel that only generates a couple of watts of power…
But such technological improvements aren’t quite enough to open up the market. High-quality LED systems, with a pair of lamps and enough battery storage for several hours of lighting, cost less than $50. The systems can pay for themselves in less than two years, but the upfront cost is still too steep for many people.
Eight19, a company based in Cambridge, U.K., is one of several companies offering some type of payment plan to make the systems affordable. Customers pay $10 for the solar lighting system,….Then they pay a weekly fee for the power it generates.
It is a truism that new technology often needs a new business model to make it really pratctical. This is an interesting and promising approach.