Off grid solar energy technologies are transforming lives around the world. An estimated 44.2 million solar lanterns and solar home systems were sold in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia between 2011 and 2015. 

But the solar economy is not sustainable.

The majority of solar devices deployed in the global south are not manufactured locally, they can not be repaired by the people who use them, they cannot be easily recycled and they are not upgradeable.

In 2016 the University of Edinburgh’s Global Challenges Lab and Gearbox Kenya challenged teams of students to design a solar powered lighting system for people who live without electricity. Their devices had to be premised on a set of ‘circular’ or ‘closed loop’ design principals.