Redavia Summary

Redavia integrates solar power with existing diesel systems to provide a hybrid energy solution for rural industry, business and communities in emerging markets. Their modular solar system fits seamlessly with customers’ diesel generators, and can be swiftly deployed with no upfront costs - resulting in significant savings and emissions reductions of up to 40%.

Market Need 

Businesses operating in rural and remote areas in emerging markets play a key role in contributing to creating local jobs and supporting the economy. However, access to reliable and affordable energy often limits their productivity levels. Small and Medium Enterprises and remote industries in these areas are either not grid connected or have limited hours of electric power. As a result, diesel generators are used to supply their energy - which is highly polluting and expensive. It is estimated $10 billion is spent annually on diesel generated electricity for small and medium scale industrial applications.

Hybrid Solar and Diesel Generation  

Solar energy is almost 40% cheaper than diesel power, and integrating these energy sources to create a ‘hybrid system’ enables significant cost savings and emission reductions. However, due to high up-front costs, long pay-back times, financing hurdles and solar intermittency it has been difficult for businesses to realise the full potential of solar/diesel hybrid systems. Also, there has been a lack of technology innovations that can seamlessly integrate solar and diesel systems to enable maximum efficiency and cost savings.

Being a rural and remote business means being located in small, isolated areas, dispersed across vast distances – which makes it logistically difficult and often financially unviable to deliver sustainable energy solutions such as solar farms.


What is a solar farm?

They are typically built by installing a number of large photovoltaic panels and mounting them to the ground. The electricity generated can then be fed into the grid or it can provide decentralised power to businesses or communities. That’s what makes them an ideal solution for rural areas, where land is available and grid connectivity is limited. 



Business Model

In 2013, Shell Foundation partnered with Redavia to help them expand and commercialise their on-site solar farms to rural businesses, such as agri-food processors as well as communities.

The solar farms integrate with their diesel generators, with no upfront costs and provide fuel savings of up to 40%. 

So how does it work? 

  • Firstly, solar farms are purchased on rental basis - therefore removing prohibitive capital costs and ensuring customers can make immediate cost savings. 
  • Secondly, they provide modular solar units of 87kw, which are tailored to meet each customer’s specific energy needs and enables them to increase solar powered generation. 
  • Finally, Redavia specialise in fast and cost-effective delivery of solar energy farms to remote and rural locations. Their patented design for fast solar plant installation and re-deployment means a complete 87 kW solar farm can be delivered and set-up within five days. 

Redavia has created a scaleable business and funding model to support their long-term growth. Within a few months, they attracted a blend of commercial and social investment and in 2014 installed a 63kw solar farm in Tanzania. Currently they are focused on serving more rural and remote businesses of all sizes to drive socio-economic growth in communities.

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