The Best Inventions of 2021
November 10, 2021 6:10 AM EST

Unreliable electricity was a chronic problem during Olugbenga Olubanjo’s childhood in Ibadan, Nigeria. In fact, according to the World Bank, 85 million Nigerians still lack access to grid electricity, making it the country with the largest energy-access deficit in the world. That’s the issue that Olubanjo set out to address with Reeddi, a compact and portable solar-powered battery that people can rent—for 50¢ a day—to charge their devices, including laptops and televisions. The battery provides 200 watts per hour of energy and can be picked up from corner stores in Lagos. Following their return, empty batteries are collected and recharged by Reeddi. “Our aim is to accelerate access to clean energy in energy-poor regions of the world,” Olubanjo says. Currently, 600 households and businesses in Lagos use the product every month, and the company plans to expand further in Nigeria before taking the products to other nations in Africa and Southeast Asia. —Abhishyant Kidangoor

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