With some villagers having never seen electricity in their villages, the implications of introducing cheap energy for powering lighting, microwaves and televisions or radios becomes apparent.
Now add to that the possibility of being able to power fridges and other basic equipment at health centres - even water pumps and the true usefulness is obvious.
And as Maureen reports, with only 5% to 20% of Africans (excluding Egypt and S Africa) having direct access to electricity, a small change can make a big difference.
Investment continues to rise in Africa's sustainable energy programmes - in 2005 just $200 million was invested compared to $2.5 billion in 2009.
It's a fascinating story of two businessmen's dreams of bringing cheap renewable energy to Africa - read the full report here.
photo credit: steve evans