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Solar X or the beginnings of solar energy in West Africa


Today, we're off to Mali to discover SolarX, a start-up specialising in the supply of solar energy. This initiative caught our attention for several reasons, which we share in this Fanaka Story. SolarX is a young company founded by the management team of Omnium Invest, an organisation that has been present in Mali for over 20 years. It provides services aimed at alleviating the electrification problems that are still common in Mali. In this way, Solar X is making an effective contribution to achieving MDG 7, which advocates clean energy at a cost that is affordable and accessible to all. Find out more about SolarX, the concept deployed by the organisation and its impact on the working conditions of industrialists in Mali.


SolarX: Mali's energy future is solar-powered


We've known for thousands of years that solar energy is capable of electrifying entire regions at low cost. It is relatively cheap, available, renewable and has no impact on the environment. Even today, in many parts of Africa, electricity is still a luxury, which can be seen as paradoxical when the sun rises every day. SolarX, a solution proposed by the group Omnium Invest is one of a number of organisations in Africa working to democratise solar energy and turn it into a means of large-scale electrification. To achieve this, innovative companies is mainly proposing power stations made up of solar panels for sectors such as industry. This very interesting proposal is an alternative to the high cost of electricity produced by the Malian electricity company, EDM SA. It's an innovative solution that gives Malian businesses and industry access to solar power plants through a hire-purchase agreement. In other words, once the system has been installed on the roof of an establishment, the company will pay rent for a number of years. The solar panels can be used for up to 30 years.


Solar X also offers other equally innovative solutions:


  • Photovoltaic systems connected to the grid for direct use of the electricity generated by photovoltaics in the installation. This option reduces grid consumption and lowers electricity bills,
  • PV-diesel hybrid systems connected to the grid and combined with diesel generators: this system allows solar photovoltaic energy to assist the generators in producing energy to save diesel and electrical energy,
  • Solar pumping systems: these pump water during the day using free solar energy.




An impact on the environment and the economy in Mali and Burkina-Faso


Solar energy is green energy that produces a small amount of pollutants. SolarX provides
In this way, it is helping to achieve two sustainable development goals (guaranteeing access to reliable, sustainable, clean and affordable energy for all; and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its repercussions). The start-up's target customers are large structures that consume a significant amount of electrical energy. The solar energy specialist provides a cheaper, cleaner service, and even offers access to advantageous and practical financing models. The money saved by the customer can be put to other uses, making them more competitive.


Thanks to its main vocation, which is to introduce low-cost renewable energy, including financing, into the daily lives of industries in Mali and Burkina Faso, SolarX enables companies to concentrate on their core business. In 2022, it obtained €5.5 million from the FMO, the Dutch bank for entrepreneurial development. These funds will enable SolarX to accelerate the acquisition of new solar assets, expand its team and open new offices in West Africa. More and more initiatives and partnerships are being launched to accelerate the group's growth in new markets.


SolarX-Omnium Invest-Fanaka


Following the example of the world's major nations, Mali and Burkina Faso are beginning their transition to renewable energies, supported by companies such as SolarX. Against a backdrop of global climate change, Africa is positioning itself in the front line to implement sustainable solutions. SolarX's offerings open doors to breaking down stereotypes and improving access to energy for businesses and communities alike.