Worldwide, approximately 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and another 1 billion have extremely unreliable access. Without ready access to electricity, the poor depend on kerosene lanterns and battery-powered flashlights for light.
Individual consumers at the “Base of the Economic Pyramid (BoP)” are making less than $10/day, with the poorest spending up to 30% of their income on inefficient and expensive means of providing light and accessing electricity. Worldwide, BoP consumers spend about $38 billion per year on kerosene for light, another $10 billion on cell phone charging. Adding in small-scale commercial applications (shops, market stalls, micro-enterprises, agriculture) there is likely a $100 billion global opportunity for small scale distributed energy solutions, with no clear market leader.