Solar-powered cool sheds with flexible pricing options are helping small businesses in Africa to weather climate change
Spotted: Climate tech is now big business, with more than $222 billion (around €204 billion) invested globally in the industry between 2013 and the start of 2021. Many climate tech startups are developing innovative ways to accelerate rich nations towards net zero. But in Africa, green tech is more often focused on managing the effects, and costs, of an already-changing climate. One company in the Ivory Coast is innovating in this area with refrigerated containers powered by the sun.
Cool Lion’s founder, entrepreneur Richard Seshie, was inspired to start the business after seeing how much product small-scale fish farmers lost because they could not afford small-scale cold storage facilities.
The company manufactures solar-powered portable cold rooms that can be used for commercial purposes. The containers range in size from 3-12 metres, allowing them to be used by a wide variety of organisations. The refrigerated containers can be powered entirely by solar energy, by regular energy, or a combination of the two.
All of Cool Lion’s containers are made from prefabricated panels but are assembled locally. They are highly portable and offer a relatively small footprint. The company offers different payment schemes – a direct purchasing model, a pay-as-you-go leasing model, and a rent-to-own model — allowing underserved businesses to afford the containers with low upfront costs.
Innovations in portable solar refrigeration and heating are helping rural communities around the world. Springwise has also spotted a portable solar fridge for transporting vaccines to rural communities and a solar refrigerator for off-grid communities that can also be used to power lights.
Written By: Lisa Magloff