Project 3: The OpenPAYGO Token developed by Solaris Offgrid

EnAccess
EnAccess
Nov 22, 2019 · 3 min read

TL; DR: Our third project introduces an open source PAYGO system developed by Solaris Offgrid: the OpenPAYGO Token.

We’re excited to share the OpenPAYGO Token developed by Solaris Offgrid. Solaris Offgrid is a provider of several Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) solutions to increase access to energy and other services in off-grid communities. They also provide software and operational services to the industry through PaygOps as well as design consulting services for PAYGO products.

About this project

The emergence of PAYGO has been one of the most, if not the most, important developments in the energy access sector over the last decade. For customers with low and irregular incomes, PAYGO offers a convenient financing solution that has been critical to increasing access to products that would otherwise be unaffordable. For SDG 7 companies, the ability to make their products more affordable has dramatically increased the number of obtainable customers and the scale of impact that can be achieved. By enabling households and communities that were previously constrained to stopgap energy solutions — such as battery-powered flashlights, kerosene lanterns, and low quality solar products — to transition to modern solar solutions, PAYGO has transformed the growth, dynamics, and size of the energy access industry.

The technology underpinning the integration of PAYGO into energy access devices has been driven by a few industry pioneers. This means that manufacturers seeking to include PAYGO capabilities in new products either integrate with established platforms or create new, closed-source PAYGO systems with particular functionality.

While this competitive innovation has pushed the industry into a new and promising reality, it has also created a somewhat fragmented landscape; multiple closed systems are developed, manufacturers spend time integrating with one or several platform providers, and distributors face compatibility challenges when retailing a portfolio of PAYGO products. At an ecosystem level, these hurdles slow the distribution of important products to the households that can benefit from them.

During this project, Solaris Offgrid decided to help streamline the way that PAYGO-enabled devices can be designed and managed. As an alternative to having several proprietary PAYGO technology backbones slowing progress in the market, Solaris Offgrid has developed an open source version: the OpenPAYGO Token. The OpenPAYGO Token is freely available for any device manufacturer to implement — reducing the need to create additional proprietary mechanisms — and can integrate with existing device management platforms. To help manufacturers get started, Solaris Offgrid published an introductory guide to keypad-based PAYGO systems, source codes, documentation of an example implementation, and a set of hardware layouts.

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Try out the OpenPAYGO Token and let us know what you think.

If you’re working to develop a new PAYGO device, check out Solaris Offgrid’s OpenPAYGO Suite, which includes both the OpenPAYGO Token and the upcoming OpenPAYGO Link. You can also learn more about the token on Episode 3 of the #OpenEnergyAccess podcast. During this episode, Tamara chats with Benjamin David (co-founder and CTO of Solaris Offgrid) about PAYGO, the token, its potential impact in the industry, and new ideas for innovation in energy access.

Thanks to Solaris Offgrid for developing this platform and for being a great innovation partner. This is exactly the type of ecosystem R&D that EnAccess is excited to enable, and we’re looking forward to more solutions that can help the industry move faster, together.

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