By Sara Stefanini for Climate Home News
Armed with solar panels, lanterns and mini grids, European energy giants hope to capture the data of hundreds of millions of new, increasingly wealthy customers in rural Africa.
The first step is to set up tiny renewable generators independent of main power grids, often sold on pay-as-you-go schemes like mobile phones.
Once that basic energy supply is established – to charge phones, home lighting and other small appliances – it’s expected to fuel demand for a slew of new products and services, such as internet access, mobile banking, water pumps, mills, fridges, home batteries and cooking stoves. The reams of data on how these new customers use and pay for their energy will help companies decide their next moves.