How did a US/Norwegian nationwide wind up establishing a company in Ghana with the goal of advancing energy gain access to in Ghana and beyond? Well, Erik Nygard resided in Ghana throughout his developmental years, prior to going to university in the United States and after that the UK. His household crossed West Africa for over thirty years, generally in between Nigeria and Ghana. Then, after a duration in a business function at Centrica in the UK, he started and established his own start-up.
The business, Limejump, crested Britain’s very first dispersed energy resource aggregation platform for properties such as solar and wind farms along with grid-scale battery storage. Limejump supplies eco-friendly generators and versatile property owners a path to the secondary and wholesale markets through advanced power purchase contract items and a nimble 24/7 trading and optimization offering. Erik left the business in early 2019 after they offered business to Shell.
Trying to find his next huge obstacle, Erik discovered his method back to Ghana, starting Kofa together with a preliminary starting group in 2021. Kofa is dealing with how individuals gain access to tidy and inexpensive energy in city environments throughout Africa. The preliminary usage cases remain in tidy energy powered electrical bikes and fixed backup power requirements. The motorbike sector is presently a $30 billion yearly market throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Over half of this costs is on fuel utilized in bikes, and the rest is on fuel and diesel utilized in generators.
Leaning on his previous experience developing a dispersed energy management platform, Kofa is developing an innovation platform to handle a swappable battery network. A crucial part of this is developing a basic “type aspect” for the swappable batteries, including the needed IOT innovation and software application plus switching facilities that will enable a remarkable client experience.
Batteries will be accessed at swap stations spread out throughout tactical areas in city environments throughout Africa. The battery network is consisted of similar battery loads with the battery having a capability of 2 kWh and weighing about 14 kg. These can be plugged straight into an electrical motorbike or linked to an inverter that can then be utilized to power a/c loads for backup power or other efficient usage requirements.
Kofa’s battery packs have a slick type aspect with an ergonomic manage to make it simple for users to bring around, making them perfect for switching. The Kofa bikes can accommodate 2 battery packs, which suggests a bike can have up to 4 kWh battery storage. Erik states the series of their bikes remains in the area of 20 to 30 km/kWh depending upon riding design, payload and roadway conditions. Kofa is at first targeting services that utilize bikes for shipment requirements and likewise little and micro services that require access to dependable power throughout blackouts or for other efficient usage.
Kofa wishes to motivate interoperability among movement business and intends to service numerous gamers in this sector. They are working to win them over by having the very best battery swap network (protection and dependability) along with the very best carrying out battery packs and use designs on the marketplace. They see a huge location for edge AI on their IOT boards that exist in each battery pack to assist handle battery security and network optimization. This is particularly crucial when information connection can be troublesome even in city environments.
Kofa remains in the middle of introducing its very first generation of items after having actually finished a series of pilots in 2022. Kofa currently has 8 public battery swap stations in Accra in addition to approximately 50 bikes which are presently being launched to consumers. The business is introducing with 2 payment designs, a regular monthly membership or a a pay as you go/pay per swap design.
Kofa will likewise include payments by means of mobile cash, a common payment approach in a great deal of African nations that is making it possible for monetary addition on a continent where most of people typically do not have access to standard banking channels. Leveraging the ingrained software application on their IOT boards, they prepare to release a service where customers can pay a portion of the expense of a complete charge and gain access to a particular quantum of energy at a time.
Erik includes, “For instance, a rider can pre-pay for 20% of a complete charge, utilize the battery on a bike and make some cash then leading approximately open another portion of energy from the battery pack without needing to return the battery to a swap station. We are dinner delighted about having these functions that can decrease the barriers to entry and likewise enhance the worth proposal for our consumers.”
As the world amazes, Kofa sees its battery network as a crucial assistance and optimization tool to the regional electrical power grid. Rather of requiring to over-invest in pricey electrical power grid facilities typically required to satisfy peak client need, Kofa thinks its battery network will have the ability to provide this gain access to more affordable and much faster in the short-term, thus permitting more optimum preparation to be done when investing into grid facilities when the time is right. This will be a genuine reward to city governments throughout the continent and will set a brand-new precedent for supplying access to tidy and renewable resource.
Kofa presently has a huge objective to reach 10 million consumers throughout Africa actively utilizing its battery network, comparable to balancing out 10 million tonnes of CO2 each year by displacing fuel. This would likewise provide around $2 billion in yearly client cost savings as the battery network is more affordable than utilizing fuel.
To attain this objective, Kofa has just recently landed its very first external financing round with support from UK charity Shell Structure and the UK’s FCDO, Grace Corp Ventures, and Wangara Green Ventures, in addition to a little number of popular angel financiers. This financing will permit Kofa to accelerate its launch into numerous cities throughout Ghana with its better 2nd generation of items. Kofa’s group has actually now grown to 11, with the bulk within item and engineering.
I am actually delighted about this technique. It will assist deal with a crucial issue in a great deal of nations on the continent. The truth that they are targeting both the movement sector along with the fixed storage market with a consistent type aspect permits to for scalability and assists to produce an emergency for their items. Interoperability has actually been a huge problem on the continent with a huge selection of start-ups all having various type aspects, adapters, and management systems. A unified technique is required to grow the sector.
Images thanks to Kofa
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