An innovative new solar kiosk system is set to empower small-scale retailers, particularly women, in rural areas where renewable energy holds the key to providing a low-cost alternative source of power to communities.
Zambian Breweries has taken delivery of the first three units of the new retail distribution points, which will use the sun’s rays to keep supplies of Castle Lite premium lager extra cold in those ‘off-grid’ regions of Zambia where electricity might not be immediately to hand.
Solar kiosks have been quietly arriving in Zambia, and are designed to tap into the sun’s rays via special panels on the roof. The energy from the sun keeps bottles and cans of Zambian’s popular beer cold and refreshing.
The move is in line with the government’s policy of encouraging additional renewable energy supply – including solar generation – in order to meet the current power deficit and work towards universal electricity access by 2030.
The three environmentally-sustainable and user-friendly solar kiosks – also known as E-HUBBs – came from Germany. They will be set up in February at three locations: in Luangwa village in Lusaka Province, Kasamba in Southern Province, and Mamvule village, near Mumbwa in Central Province.
Castle Lite is the lead brand for the innovation, although other Zambian Breweries drinks will also be sold from the kiosks.
“Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world,” said Zambian Breweries Marketing Manager, Nomonde Donsa. “We are committed to not only empowering retailers for our products but also in the use of renewable energy. We believe these solar kiosks will greatly help in that aim, especially in those areas that do not have a reliable electricity supply. The solar kiosks are bringing a low-cost and alternative source of energy to communities.”
The solar kiosks had come at the right time and would benefit those areas where there was limited electricity supply, she added. “We hope the solar kiosks will help generate more awareness of Castle Lite, especially in the areas where they will be launched. It is our wish that consumers of our products get the very best Extra Cold product experience.”
Zambia has an average 2,000-3,000 hours of sunshine per year yet only some 3 percent of the population in rural areas has access to electricity, according to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).