Empowering Africa’s Energy Future: The SLS Energy Story
11 June 2024

SLS Energy, with Patrick Ntwari as Director of Hardware Engineering, is an innovative startup dedicated to sustainability and clean energy. The startup was born out of the need to create a useful application for the thousands of batteries from motorcycles and electric vehicles that are about to be retired, particularly with Rwanda’s policy favoring the adoption of electric vehicles. 

With a team of seven people, including engineers, business experts and project managers, SLS Energy combines more than 25 years of experience in the energy and manufacturing sectors, having worked for renowned companies such as Hitachi, Odyssey Energy Solutions and Bboxx. 

Together, we all possess an all-inclusive outlook that merges technical expertise with business and understanding, uniquely equipping us to tackle environmental challenges associated with electronic waste and address the increasing demand for sustainable energy storage solutions”- says the founder.

A typical day at SLS Energy is characterized by dynamic collaboration, focused innovation, and goal-oriented execution. “Our mornings often kick off with a team huddle, where we discuss our objectives for the day, share updates on ongoing projects, and align our efforts towards our quarterly goals”. During the day, engineers test cells and battery packs, business experts analyze market trends, and project managers coordinate logistics. Despite the different roles, open communication is critical to business success.

In Rwanda, an entrepreneur must be a solution provider and a job creator. 

“The entrepreneur ecosystem is supported by government programs, trainings and coaching, incubation and acceleration programs, funds in forms of grants or loans”, however, they face daily challenges such as supply chain variability that affects prices, lead times, and profit margins, as well as a lack of visibility and traceability of withdrawn batteries.

“Our innovative Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) model eliminates upfront costs for energy storage, making it financially accessible for operators, ultimately enabling them to lower tariffs for communities, thereby enhancing electricity access”. By replacing diesel generators, SLS Energy aims to reduce air pollution, helping to improve air quality in Rwanda, where pollution caused 9,286 deaths in 2019. In addition to a 65 % reduction in CO2 emissions, the company created more than 50 direct and 150 indirect jobs by year three, demonstrating its commitment to responsible waste management.

SLS Energy’s goal is to revolutionize the energy landscape in Africa by providing sustainable and affordable energy storage solutions. “We envision a future where every community, regardless of its location or economic status, has reliable access to clean energy”. With innovative technologies and strong partnerships, they aim to eliminate energy poverty, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and drive widespread adoption of clean energy solutions.

“During the roadshow, we anticipate networking and partnership opportunities and exposure to potential Italian investors and partners”. The goal is to showcase SLS Energy’s innovative solutions, establish connections for collaborations, funding opportunities and market expansion. 

With a clear vision and strong partnerships, SLS Energy is poised to drive widespread adoption of clean energy solutions and make a lasting impact on Africa’s energy future.

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