Solar Power in Swaziland

It may seem that renewable energy requires expensive, top-shelf technology that only the wealthiest countries can afford.

In fact the opposite is true: off-grid regions and underdeveloped countries often make the best candidates for renewable energy. Start-up companies like Nokero International Ltd are leading a worldwide renewable energy movement that is catapulting developing countries past the industrial era and directly into a “green” era.

“From solar panels, to batteries, to LEDs, a whole host of technologies have reached the tipping point, to where we can now bring renewable technologies to the developing world in a truly viable way,” said Steve Katsaros, inventor of the Nokero Solar Light bulb, the world’s most economical all-in-one solar light.

A new video short from Emmy-nominated John Mans highlights these concepts by showcasing the benefits of Nokero’s solar power in Africa.

About the video: Mans, together with filmmakers Andi Lucas and Melinda MacInnis, traveled to Swaziland with 48 Nokero solar light bulbs and delivered them to those who live with little or no electricity near the Mlilwane Game Reserve.

The bulbs were given to town leaders during an inter-park dance competition at Hlane Royal National Park. They were also given to children who can now study at night and feel safer with their Nokero solar bulbs. In response the children sang a song of thanks, which is featured in the video.

The bulbs were also given to game rangers, who are tasked with the difficult job of protecting the endangered black rhinoceros’, as well as lions, giraffes and other animals, on the famous Game Reserves. The bulbs bring the comfort of added safety, and can also help the rangers track poachers or more easily navigate the Reserves at night.

Developing nation in the lead

Swaziland is a premier example of how developing nations can benefit from Solar. The African nation has been proactive about implementing solar, and the people of the Mlilwane village were well-versed in the use of solar technology even before their Nokero bulbs arrived.

“These are people who are very poor but who absolutely know what solar power is,” said Lucas, who is featured in the video. “They all understand what the panels are … to hand them something that made such complete sense to them, it was really a powerful thing.”

To Nokero, Mans, MacInnis and Lucas, it is one more sign that the global effort to make solar a viable source of energy is progressing – one village at a time.

Nokero (short for No Kerosene) was formed in June 2010 by inventor Steve Katsaros to develop safe and environmentally-friendly solar products that eliminate the need for harmful and polluting fuels used for light and heat around the world and, most importantly, are affordable to the communities that need them.

The light bulb is a shape known around the world. The Nokero solar lights unique bulb shape, its simple yet durable design, and its affordability mean the Nokero solar light bulb is humanity’s best chance at ending the practice of burning kerosene.

The Big Game Parks (led by eminent conservationist Ted Reilly and managed by his family and staff) have returned 22 species that were previously locally extinct in Swaziland. They have all of the "big five" animals (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino) as well as extremely rare ungulates like the Roan Antelope.

Big Game Parks also protect the critically endangered Black Rhino. Less than 5,000 exist in the wild with hundreds being poached for horns each year, as well as the threatened White Rhino.