Hydrobox, producing renewable energy in Africa

LEND from 20€ up to 2000€ for 24 month with an annual interest rate of 5% gross and participate to the Hydrobox project.

Hydrobox, producing renewable energy in Africa €100,000
Montant collecté : €100,000
100.0 %

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First goal : 100 000€ with a success step at 75 000€.  

Uncapping of the fund collection up to 150 000€ if the crowd's dynamic allows it. The financial analysis was based on a 150 000€ loan.

The company will start the reimbursement 3 months after the end of the campaign. 


635 million. That's the number of Africans who live without electricity. That is more than half of the continent's total population. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 63% of the population lives too far from the infrastructure to be connected.

This shortage has a direct impact on the daily lives of households who cannot afford to feed themselves, educate themselves or work properly.

Countries like Kenya are making efforts to sustain their growth by supplying their electricity consumption without fossil fuels, but often clean and environmentally friendly solutions are still lacking.

However, there is no shortage of energy resources. In particular, renewable energies sources are plentiful throughout the continent. The sun, the wind, but also the rivers!

Where all the exploitable rivers are used in France, only 8% of African rivers are used for electricity.

The main advantage of hydropower is its 24/7 production capacity. In that way, hydropower is extremely efficient compared to solar and wind power.

At a time when electricity consumption is expected to triple by 2030, it is time to support innovations that can contribute to this sustainable transition.

Given the large distances in Africa, it is therefore necessary to seek powerful and innovative decentralised solutions.


John Magiro comes from a small village in Kenya. He grew up there without access to electricity like most of the country's inhabitants.

Ten years ago, John decided to change the situation for his family and community by developing a micro hydroelectric power plant built with everyday objects. His ingenuity was praised, and the young man quickly made a name for himself.

Source : Daniel Irungu 

Source : Daniel Irungu 

Since then, he has perfected his system by building a power plant that now supplies more than 250 households, or more than 1,000 users, at a very low cost. Magiro wanted to deploy this solution across Africa to allow as many households as possible to have reliable and sustainable access to electricity.

It was in this context that he met Thomas Poelmans, a Belgian entrepreneur committed to sustainable development. Together, they created an evolutionary version of the Magiro hydroelectric power plant. Thus, Hydrobox was born.

John and Thomas' ambition is to expand Hydrobox across Africa, providing opportunities to the rural villages they connect. The next operational Hydrobox power plant will be able to provide electricity for 2,000 to 20,000 people.


Despite significant efforts in recent years by the Kenyan government to provide energy to 100% of its population, 13 million people, or 15% of the total population, still do not have access to this basic need. Currently, the inhabitants have access to energy that is often expensive, non-continuous and derived from fossil resources. Current solutions such as candles or oil lamps are the most frequent but also the most risky (fire, pollution...etc.)

The Hydrobox solution produces electricity thanks to the force of water currents from local waterfalls and rivers, a source that flows continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hydrobox's tariffs are lower than the national operator's tariffs, allowing the most modest households to access energy. Hydrobox offers an inexhaustible, inexpensive and renewable source of energy.

The impact of this solution in the village of Kangema, where John Magiro comes from, was immediate. For example, for students who can now work in the evening after school hours, after sunset. The same applies to village shopkeepers, who can now open up more time slots and thus increase their turnover significantly.

Hydrobox offers a solution and a sustainable alternative with a high social, economic and environmental impact, improving the living conditions of thousands of people.


The Hydrobox is a small standardised, containerised & remotely monitored power plant equipped with smart sensors, using artificial intelligence to enable efficient & transparent operations.

Power plants use running water from rivers to transform it into clean and sustainable electricity.

This technique can bring electricity to remote and rural areas across much of Africa. The potential for hydroelectric production is significant and yet rarely exploited.

Simple and functional, containerised hydro power plants can be sold as a product and installed:

▪ Very quickly, in less than a year

▪ At low installation costs

▪ In isolated and remote areas of the national energy grid

▪ With a production capacity of 100kW up to 5MW

In addition, the Hydrobox solution can also be used as a service:

▪ By selling electricity directly to households, businesses and industries, without going through the national grid (OFF-GRID). This concerns local circuits independent of national distribution infrastructures.

By selling electricity to the national grid, for consumers already connected to it and to strengthen the existing grid (ON-GRID).

Direct sale of production units. A single cost at the time of sale, as well as an annual maintenance cost, are provided for.

The extremely valuable resources of the African continent, combined with an innovative turnkey solution give Hydrobox a very significant development potential. Each water current has the potential to become the source of an essential and environmentally friendly electricity production (em)powering thousands of individuals.


To date, the company operates the pilot site developed by John Magiro in the rural area of Kangema, north of Nairobi. This site has a capacity of 25 kW and can supply energy to more than 250 homes, which is equivalent to about 1000 individuals. The network is completely independent and extends over 25 kilometres.

Thanks to the investments already made, the pilot site is developing considerably, allowing it to expand and increase its production capacity. During 2019, the site will reach a capacity of 71 kW, thus providing clean energy to a population of 2,040 individuals across the Kangema area.

In addition, the first sale of the Hydrobox as a product is being negotiated. The plant has a capacity of 688kW, nearly 10 times the current capacity of the pilot site, and will be connected to the national energy distribution network in order to sell the excess energy.

By 2020, the power installed by Hydrobox will be 418 kW off-grid and 2,275 kW on-grid, thus providing clean energy to 13,263 people.

Hydrobox intends to expand operations throughout other African countries, starting with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon, two countries whose electricity distribution is struggling to develop and which also has exceptional hydropower production potential.


Hydrobox is looking for a loan to support the growth of its off-grid activities, building on the existing network built by John Magiro.

To make access to electricity affordable, Hydrobox pre-finances the connection cost per household, which is reimbursed to the company over 6 to 12 months. To connect 450 additional households, the company needs 67,000 EUR.

In addition, the company is implementing a program to rent water pumps and flake mills to local farmers. This allows local farmers to improve their productivity while simultaneously creating additional demand for electricity that complements household consumption. The programme has a working capital requirement of EUR 25,000.

A default cost of EUR 8,000 has been budgeted.

In addition, the company wants to expand its network to serve local farms and small industries in order to better balance the network and increase profitability. The extension will cost 50,000 EUR.

Thus, the requested amount of 150,000 EUR will allow the company to increase its number of customers from 350 to 800 households, while adding additional customers (farmers, small industries).

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