DC Go solar PV towers

Providing pay-as-you-go solar electricity for low-income communities

Image courtesy of DC Go.
Categories
Themes
Energy: Storage
Energy: Distribution
Energy: Solar power
Background

DC Go is a for-profit company providing affordable energy solutions through flexible pay-as-you-go packages, with the aim of improving access to energy in urban communities that are not connected to the electricity grid. Through this initiative, DC Go has not only improved access to energy but also created job opportunities, developed skills and enterprises, and promoted cleaner energy options, contributing to poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.

Approach

DC Go's initiative addresses the needs of low-income households in targeted areas, where flexible payment models are crucial in making energy services accessible. To reduce theft, DC Go has erected solar panels and batteries on 5 meter high poles, which serve up to 16 surrounding dwellings. Through a range of affordable pay-as-you-go packages, DC Go provides energy solutions, from basic lighting to a full suite of low-energy, 12V DC appliances, including television sets, refrigerators and freezers.

Social Impact

Access to affordable electricity plays a crucial role in achieving positive health and safety outcomes, as well as educational and economic development at the household level. DC Go has installed over 500 solar towers to serve over 8000 households. DC Go’s approach also creates local job opportunities and utilises local enterprises for construction works and security amongst others contributing to poverty alleviation in underserved communities.

Environmental Impact

By using solar energy, this approach reduces dependence on grid electricity, which is generated mainly from fossil fuels in South Africa. This avoids increases in demand for these highly polluting forms of energy, helping to mitigate climate change and avoid air pollution.

Success Factors

Effective community engagement during the initial setup phase and continually throughout the project and operations phases has been crucial in ensuring the success of the project. This involves consulting with the local community to ensure their buy-in and involvement in the project, which is key to its success.

Evidence
Evolution
Challenges

Theft of items such as overhead distribution cables continues to be a problem. DC Go has responded by adapting cable materials as well as strengthening its collaborations with local community policing forums and the South African Police Service.

Factbox
Founded in

2016

Project type
Service
Founded by

DC-GO

For-profit organisation
Founding Organisation Two

No items found.
Founding Organisation Three

For-profit organisation
Operated by
Households reached
UN Sustainable Development Goal(s)
Last edited on:
May 10, 2023
Shared on:
May 10, 2023

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A female technician from DC-GO working on a solar-powered unit
Image courtesy of DC Go.