The DRC has enormous potential for renewable energy as only 9% of the population is connected to the power grid. With its high population growth and the grid failing to meets the needs of the Congolese public, the demand for alternatives sources of energy, such as solar kits, micro hydroelectricity and biomass, are likely to increase in the near future. 

ÉLAN RDC is working to improve access to and use of renewable energy by assisting market participants to develop effective models of education, product marketing and distribution. ÉLAN RDC also aims to create more favourable conditions for investors by facilitating their access to information.

Partner highlights:

Altech is a leading distributor of solar lamps in DRC. Altech works to enable off-grid households and institutions to have access to modern energy. Altech recruits local youth to become solar ambassadors in their communities, distributes products with affordable payment schemes and offers ongoing after-sales service and support to their customers. To date, Altech has impacted over 500,000 people with renewable energy solutions.

Over 90% of D.R. Congo’s population live without access to electricity – more than 11 million off-grid households. The more than two million households with access to  electricity experience frequent power blackouts. Renewable energy products are the solution to increase access to electricity. 

ÉLAN supports Altech across the value chain from supplier to consumer, by supporting strategy development, access to finance, marketing activities and by finding linkages with partners.

Since the start of the partnership Altech has succesfully scaled up their distribution network, has attracted multiple grants and is working with a major corporate partner to start the introduction of PAYGO solar home systems in the DRC.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Kenya, BURN Manufacturing designs, manufactures and distributes the best-selling, most fuel efficient, and most durable biomass cookstoves in Africa.  It manufactures all of its products in sub-Saharan Africa’s only state-of-the-art, solar-powered cookstove manufacturing facility. 

BURN currently employs more than 225 employees in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To date, BURN has distributed over 400,000 clean cookstoves, helping customers save over $100 million in fuel expenses and saving 1.7 million tons of wood.

BURN began operations in DRC in 2018 upon receiving support from ÉLAN. DRC loses 1,200 square miles of forest annually, and families spend an average of $250 per year on charcoal. BURN’s flagship product, the Jikokoa charcoal stove, reduces charcoal use and expenditure by 70% over the traditional stove, saving families $175 per year.

With ÉLAN supporting marketing and logistics for BURN’s DRC operations, BURN has established distribution in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma and Bukavu, and is on track to sell over 10,000 cookstoves by the end of 2018.

Halt Bank
Halt Bank, founded by Joseph Kayembe, is a producer of improved cooking stoves in the province of Katanga. Halt Bank produces the cooking stoves using local materials and sells them by using a flexible payment scheme to help poor people to afford them.

Currently 95% of the Congolese population uses inefficient traditional models that can cost up to $25 each month due to their insufficient insulation. Halt Bank's stoves save an average of $0.50 each day, allowing people to use that money for other purposes like schooling or medicine.

ÉLAN worked with Joseph to form a new marketing strategy to increase awareness of improved cooking stoves to reach an increasing amount of customers in both rural and urban areas.

Since the beginning of the partnership, Halt Bank has grown average monthly sales to 400 stoves and opened a distribution network in another district of Lumbumbashi. ÉLAN is continuing to facilitate the improvement of production costs and Halt Bank’s linkages with large enterprises, in order to continue the expansion of its business.

We are a next generation utility – we sell solar energy as a service and offer a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner form of energy than traditionally used (unreliable grid, genereators, kerosene).

We solve the problem of energy poverty in DRC. Here the electrification rate is 8% and the replacements used instead (shared generators, candles, kerosene etc.) are expensive and dangerous. BBOXX offers quality solar products as a service, saving customers money, keeping them safe and improving the environment

ELAN offers us a Results Based Financing for each ELAN household targeted. For every ELAN household that we electrify we receive a subsidy

With ELAN’s help we have been able to grow BBOXX DRC from an initial pilot to a scale operation. BBOXX has just signed a contract with the government to electrify 2.5 million people by the end of 2020, we have installed 3,000 systems already and we plan to grow into the biggest utility in DRC.