Rural Transformation


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Rural Transformation
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"The only real valuable thing is intuition."

Albert Einstein



Founder of StonePower

Sten Bergman





StonePowers Vision and Mission



To be able to embrace the benefits provided by the development of better access to rural electricity, water support and telecommunications, the end user needs to be able to receive and utilize these products.


Working from the end user perspective, StonePower promotes the building of a basic infrastructure within society to help introduce electricity, telecommunications etc. to the rural population. The focus is set on stand-alone, small sized and self-supporting solutions involving local participants, resources and workforce.


The store of new technological and organizational solutions to the sustainable rural electrification challenge is now large and growing. StonePower’s vision is to encourage new rural electrification programs to take advantage of these new, low-cost and more appropriate solutions.


These solutions range from grids, mini- and micro-grids to individual sized systems for electricity, to local telecommunication systems covering remote areas away from the main networks and efficient biological water treatment facilities.



StonePower has been set up to realize the possibility for:

  • The development and commercialization of technology
  • The optimization of conventional and renewable small-scale power generation technology
  • Transfer of technology and building long term capacity

The Challenge  

Reasearch and Development




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Sustainable Rural Development
In Africa, as in all regions, people living in rural areas make up the poorest part of the population. The disparity in income between urban centers and rural areas is greatly aggravated by much poorer access to vital services. Moreover, in countries where government resources are in any case limited, rural populations usually have less power than their urban counterparts to command development funds — geographical remoteness and economic backwardness all too often translate into social and political exclusion.

In many Sub-Saharan African countries, access to electricity is extremely low, and concentrated geographically (to urban areas and even there, to the central parts of main cities) and among the very top of the income classes. Non-served or poorly served consumers are instead forced to resort to higher-cost alternatives (private gensets, batteries, kerosene), and the lack of access or poor reliability limits the productive potential and quality of life. The key problem is to find "workable entry points" for change in a selective, targeted manner to catalyze rapid scale-up of alternative approaches.

In the past, most rural electrification programs were initiated, financed, and managed by the government or the utility. These programs have not been a success. Today, only around 2% of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity, and without a major overhaul of rural electrification efforts, this percentage is going to get worse — not better — as rural population growth continues to outstrip the expansion of electricity access by some way.

The main (often the sole) traditional approach to extending electricity access has failed to even keep up with population growth, and is unlikely to make any significant expansion of access in the foreseeable future. This approach includes central monopolies extending the main grid at great and often unnecessary cost across sparsely populated areas, with large subsidies and cross-subsidies across regions and customer classes.