- Most Read
14 Stunning Finalist Photos from the World Photography Awardsby Adam Albright-Hanna
What Color Should Your Pee Be?by Adam Albright-Hanna
Weed Vending Machines Have Hit the U.S.by Mark Hay
Werner Herzog Motivational Posters are the Best Thing on the Internetby Laura Feinstein
Abuse Is Not Romance: Ads for ‘50 Shades’ With Actual Insane Quotes from the Bookby Adam Albright-Hanna
Grow Your Own DIY Leather Jacket In A Petri Dishby Laura Feinstein
Montreal Now Has A Mermaid Schoolby Laura Feinstein
Music Makes You a Better Reader, Says Neuroscienceby Kayt Sukel Presented by Project Literacy
Skin May Hold the Key to Early Detection for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseaseby Dana Driskill
How Pay-As-You-Go Solar is Bringing Light to Rural Guatemala
by Adele Peters
In Guatemala, over two million people live without electricity. Solar power can help, but even the cheapest solar products are often out of reach for these families. A small company called Quetsol is working on a new way to let people purchase electricity over time: pay-as-you-go solar.
Quetsol, started by Guatemalans Juan Rodriguez and Tono Aguilar, started selling small solar kits in 2010. Their customers applied for microloans through banks to pay for the kits, but the banks haven't been able to keep up with demand; right now, half of Quetsol's customers are still waiting for their applications to be processed. So Quetsol decided to take on the financing problem themselves.
Here's how it works: a customer can use their cell phone to sign up for a Quetsol account, and they can also use their cell phone to pay for power as they go. As Quetsol's founders explain on Indiegogo:
No more eight-hour trips to bank branches, no more unjustified rejections and lost applications by the banks. No more waiting for an energy solution for Guatemala's poorest residents when it is right at our fingertips. Pay-As-You-Go solar kits will put the power to achieve their energy goals in the hands of our clients, and not the banks. In turn, Quetsol will offer a lifetime warranty on every solar kit: Each battery change and kit repair will be on us.
Original image courtesy of Quetsol