Replacing 1 Million Kerosene Lanterns with 1 Million Solar Lanterns
2010 SEED Award Winner Clean Energy Nairobi, Kenya

Solanterns offers smoke-free, brighter solar lanterns at a lower cost than kerosene lamps; thus, health risks, and fire and environmental hazards are reduced, and investment opportunities are created for micro-entrepreneurs. Solaterns builds on exiting institutional distribution channels and rental services to reach poor customers and convince people to go solar. High-visibility brand stores, cooperative societies, micro-finance institutions and others serve as sales points, partly offering financing for the purchase. Youths are trained as micro-entrepreneurs to rent out lanterns to households who cannot affort the upfront investment. Over three years, households can either spend US$ 146 on kerosene or US$ 25 on a solar lantern. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

This initiative provides economic, environmental and health benefits to both rural and urban households by sourcing and distributing solar lanterns and training youth and women micro-entrepreneurs.
  • Reducing health and safety risks associated with kerosene lighting: some 60% of child deaths in developing countries result from respiratory illnesses attributed partly to indoor air pollution; 60% poisoning incidents are due to accidental kerosene ingestion by children.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions - some 100 tons per year for one thousand kerosene lamps replaced.




  • Reducing daily expenses of households living on less than a dollar a day by 10% as it helps saving the cost of kerosene (US$ 121 over 3 years).  
  • Creating new job opportunities by training and engaging youths from poor neighbourhoods.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Renewable Energy Ventures (K) Ltd. is responsible for sourcing and distributing the lanterns, and raising funds.

Bridgestaff Consulting Ltd. offers financial training to the micro-entrepreneurs in preparation for their business entry.

K-Rep’s Juhudi Kilimo is a micro-finance institution providing micro-credits to the youth entrepreneurs.


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