How “productive use of electricity” can unlock economic potential across Africa



“Productive Utilization of Electricity” (PUE) has been the buzzword in the African solar industry for the past two years. The African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) has compiled a list of solar-based PUE solutions for the continent, including a number of new solar off-grid and on-grid systems.

PUE solutions come in different forms, but their main purpose is to provide the user with more cash. PUE can lead to cost reduction, revenue growth, or both. The fishing industry is an excellent example, where solar freezers reduce fish losses and increase fish quality, resulting in better prices for fishermen.

PUE solutions can be applied in many sectors, such as agriculture, commercial and small industry, public infrastructure and health services. They can also be applied to a variety of situations, including off-grid locations, mini-grids, and grid-connected locations. At AFSIA, we focus exclusively on PUE solutions based on solar energy.

Our most popular solutions are solar irrigation and solar cooling. Solar irrigation offers a great business opportunity for the end user, as it enables year-round cultivation, significantly increases the yield per hectare and lowers total costs by up to 90% compared to diesel-powered irrigation. Solar cooling, which includes refrigerators, freezers and cold rooms, reduces post-harvest losses, increases farmers’ bargaining power and is an ideal partner for solar irrigation.

AFSIA will announce its first “PUE List” at an online event on May 4. Its goal is to identify all available solar PUE solutions, list the companies that share these solutions, and share business-specific information about each solution. This list will help more solar stakeholders understand the potential of PUE to unlock economic activity and improve livelihoods in Africa.

AFSIA will organize a PUE webinar on May 4, 2023 at 14:00 (CET). Register at:

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

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