OSRAM Off-Grid Lighting - A sustainable solution

Video: OSRAM Off-Grid Lighting in Kenya

About 1.3 billion people worldwide depend on "fuel-based lighting" because they do not have access to the electric grid, usually burning kerosene for light in different types of lanterns. Based on an estimation by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) an amazing 25 billion liters of kerosene and 1.4 million tons of candles are burned every year for lighting, resulting in emissions of 74 million tons of CO2. Besides being a very inefficient light source, kerosene-based lighting is expensive, dangerous and poses a health hazard to its users.

OSRAM makes light an affordable commodity in off-grid areas
In 2008, OSRAM launched a unique project on Lake Victoria, Kenya, for producing light independently from a grid-based power supply - "Off-Grid Lighting". Inhabitants can lease batteries for energy-saving lamps, luminaires and other electrical devices such as cell phones for a small fee and at the same time recharge them in an environmentally friendly way at solar-powered energy hubs specifically built for this purpose. The project also covers other important issues such as cleaning polluted drinking water and accessing modern information and communication technology. Beyond that, the project addresses another important sustainability challenge – the purification of unsafe drinking water. Rural areas are connected to centers all around the world through access to computers, the internet and mobile phone charging stations.

After a pilot phase with three energy stations – known as O-HUBs – the project has been extended enormously by adding five additional energy stations, known as WE!Hubs.

Umeme Kwa Wote - The Concept

OSRAM is addressing the challenge of Off-Grid Lighting with a concept going beyond the product. It carries the Swahili name “Umeme Kwa Wote” - “Energy for all”.

Products for Off-Grid Lighting

Instead of inefficient and dangerous kerosene lanterns, OSRAM customers have a choice of several lighting products to satisfy their needs.

O-HUB

The heart of the OSRAM off-grid solution is the O-Hub. Besides using solar energy to charge Off-Grid Lighting products, it offers a range of other services. The O-Hub concept, launched in 2008, forms the basis for the WE!Hub project.

WE!HUB

The WE!Hub project is an expansion of the OSRAM off-grid project. It was inaugurated in 2011 together with five partners and is also based on the concept “Umeme Kwa Wote – Energy for all” - making light and water affordable commodities in off-grid areas.

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