This week on Watt It Takes: how a computer nerd who loved
assembling electronics became obsessed with designing a
solar-storage system to light up Africa.
In this episode, Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with
Xavier Helgesen, the co-founder and chief technology officer at
Zola is a provider of solar and storage systems in Africa. Since
its founding in 2012, the company has served over a million people
with clean power in five countries.
Over the years, Zola has evolved from a small, scrappy startup
that offered very basic energy packages into a hardware company
that installs sleek, scalable power systems that rival the grid in
“[Our goal] was not to be worse than the grid, but available
anywhere — but to just be better than the grid. For solar and
batteries to fundamentally be cheaper and more reliable than the
grid. And if we succeed in that in the developing world, then the
market is almost limitless,” says Helgesen.
In this interview, Helgesen talks about how he first got
interested in energy access, the complexities of setting up a
company as an outsider in Tanzania, and how Zola shifted into
designing its own hybrid system.
This conversation was recorded live at Powerhouse’s
headquarters. To learn more about future speakers and attending a
live event, go to Powerhouse.fund and click on the events
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Support for this podcast is brought to you by Sungrow. With the world’s most
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Source: FS – GreenTech Media
Watt It Takes: The Startup Working to Make Solar-Storage Better Than the African Grid