The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) now represents over 100 off-grid energy companies, investors and stakeholders. This month, the Paris-based off-grid solar company Qotto officially became GOGLA’s 100th member. Based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, GOGLA is the industry association of the off-grid lighting and electrification sector. On behalf of GOGLA, Grégory Durand of TOTAL Access To Energy, congratulated Qotto in Paris this week.
Qotto was founded in 2016 by Jean-Baptiste Lenoir and Fabrice de Gaudemar. One of the reasons Qotto’s co-founders decided to join GOGLA so early on in the company’s existence is getting access to a wide network of off-grid energy companies. The pair explain: “When we started Qotto, we wanted to be an active player in the rural electrification field. As this challenge is huge, complex and exciting, it was important for us to join our colleagues and partners in a group to share experiences and benefit from the progress made by each company in this industry.”
Lenoir and de Gaudemar go on to emphasize that “having a space where the key players of the sector can meet is very important. GOGLA brings in a variety of members, from various countries, business models or company size which enhances the quality of these interactions.”
Bringing energy access to people who need it most is the core of Lenoir and de Gaudemar’s personal and entrepreneurial mission. “When I worked for ‘Action against Hunger’, I noticed: businesses do not address the basic needs of the larger part of the African population. And yet, businesses should and can! 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. This basic need can be satisfied with the right business model and the right innovation. And I wanted to be part of the solution”, Lenoir says. De Gaudemar adds: “I am really excited about solving technical challenges. I can spend several days, testing and improving again and again a prototype until it works properly. And if it helps someone to work in decent conditions after nightfall, or read in the dark, I am all the more motivated.”
Start-ups like Qotto continue to enter the off-grid energy sector expanding the reach of the industry to new regions and off-grid populations.
GOGLA’s Executive Director Koen Peters is delighted the association can welcome its 100th member: “This demonstrates that GOGLA is seen to really add value to companies in our space. I’m even more delighted that our 100th member is a francophone company setting up shop in Benin – an indication that the industry, and GOGLA, are increasingly becoming more diverse, and expanding the off-grid success in new markets. We will certainly seek to build further on this trend. We wish Qotto great success in growing and sustaining their business and hope that they will benefit a lot from their membership at GOGLA.“
Ms Anna Wells
Mr Sascha Brandt