• First company headquartered Sub-Saharan Africa to win
  • Prize funds to launch M-KOPA University – a new training program

19th January 2015, Abu Dhabi – M-KOPA Solar has won the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize at the opening ceremony of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. This is the world’s leading renewable energy and sustainability award and M-KOPA is the first company headquartered in Sub-Saharan Africa to win in the enterprise and SME categories.

M-KOPA Solar is the market leader in ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy services for off-grid customers – combining mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to enable the leasing of solar power systems.  Since its launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected more than 150,000 homes in East Africa to solar power and is adding over 500 new homes each day.

M-KOPA Solar customers buy a solar home system with an initial deposit of $35, followed by 365 daily payments of 43 cents – which is cheaper than their daily spend on kerosene. After completing the payment package, customers own the system outright.

Jesse Moore, Managing Director and Co-Founder of M-KOPA Solar says, “We are honored to win the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The prize brings global attention to M-KOPA Solar’s business model, which has brought clean, affordable solar power to 150,000 homes in East Africa in less than three years. We believe that the ‘wireless energy’ revolution is just beginning and that M-KOPA Solar will soon power millions living off the grid.”

The Zayed Future Energy Prize brings with it a US$1.5 million (KES133 million) prize. M-KOPA Solar will use these funds to launch a training and development program called M-KOPA University, which will provide world class technical and business skills development to employees, sales agents and partners.

Jesse Moore says, “We’ve proven that our technology can scale and – thanks to great work by our team – we’ve already reached a pace of 500 plus sales per day in East Africa. And yet there is demand for our solution in tens of millions of homes. With the recognition and backing of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we will continue to develop our exceptional team in order to reach millions of customers as soon as we can.”

M-KOPA University will be hosted in the company’s Nairobi headquarters to provide an onsite and remote curriculum. By 2018 M-KOPA University will provide training to over 1,000 staff and 3,000 sales agents across East Africa, as well as to M-KOPA’s licensing and distribution partners in other parts of Africa and Asia.

The US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize, established by the United Arab Emirates government in 2008, recognizes organizations, schools and individuals across the world that have made significant contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability.

In seven years, the Zayed Future Energy Prize winners and finalists have positively impacted the lives of more than 150 million people around the world – delivering access to clean energy and water, championing the deployment of renewable energy and creating hundreds of jobs.

Notes to Editors:

About the Zayed Future Energy Prize:

The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in sustainable development in the UAE.

The Prize is an annual award managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.

The Prize is awarded annually in five categories – large corporation, small and medium enterprise, non-profit organisation, lifetime achievement and global high schools – to companies, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change.

The Prize Jury selects winners and runners up across the five categories by unanimous vote. The Jury is chaired by His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of the Republic of Iceland and members include Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group;  Ratan Tata GBE, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons; Dr. Han Seung-Soo, Former Prime Minister, Republic of Korea; His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, Former President, Republic of Maldives; Her Excellency Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Transport, Republic of South Africa; Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman, Global Marketplace Abu Dhabi; and Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation.

Since its inception, the Prize has rewarded 30 innovators, awarded more than US$ 18 million and impacted millions of lives in communities across the world.

Winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize 2015 were announced at a ceremony scheduled for January 19, at the opening ceremony of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.