Welcome to SunFire
Crosby Menzies founded SunFire Solutions in 2004 after returning from London where he worked for the Wall Street Journal online during the .con bubble burst, an experience that brought him firmly back to earth. Upon his return to Africa he studied Permaculture and while touring SA visiting Schools with feeding schemes, noticed Rural Schools using Firewood to cook learner’s daily meals. Crosby had seen these Bright shiny “dishes” as a novelty item on a trip to Zambia and thought “here is a technological anomaly that needs attention”. Something he could truly market with all his heart and soul.
He came in contact with GIZ a well funded German “development agency” “looking into” commercialising Solar Cooking in SA, unfortunately the management seemed to have no appetite for promoting the technology, he was put in touch with some of SA’s “top Sales and marketing consultants” who told him “it’s impossible to manage and run a sustainable company specialized in Solar Cookers”. Shortly afterwards this 10 year project project closed down stating that “the technology and people were not ready”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This greatly inspired Crosby to found and run SunFire Solutions which has gone on to achieve the “impossible” on a daily basis for 10 consecutive years. SunFire Solutions is now established as the longest running and most successful solar cooker company in Southern Africa undergoing various metamorphoses along the way.
The project did fund a business case before packing which stated “that a third of Southern African households would purchase a Solar Cooker if they were A) Aware of them B) able to buy them using a micro credit system” – in other words pay them off bit by bit. Its now 10 years later and SunFire has sent Cookers to almost every Country in Africa creating a groundswell of awareness.
SunFire is one of the only companies in Africa focused on clean energy cooking appliances promoting Solar Cooking as part of “Clean energy cooking kits” including fuel-efficient wood burning stoves and SunBags or retained heat bags that are used to finish off meals and keep food warm long after dark. In addition Sunfire Solutions represents Africa at the worldwide solar cooker network and supports solar cooker initiatives throughout the Continent while remaining abreast of global best practises in design and project implementation.
In Order to meet the energy needs of Communities where we work SunFire continually expands our range of technologies to provide households with high quality solar appliances.
Our Current range includes solar lanterns with cell phones chargers – giving households light and communication capabilities. SunFire brings the same ethos and quality standards to selecting new products as we do to our Clean energy Cooking kits. Our products are selected for durability, ease of use and functionality and are usually “out the box energy products” – easy to transport, install and maintenance free.
SunFire’s core aim and strategy is to supply decentralised energy that can easily improve the lives of Millions of Africans currently living in energy poverty.
Micro Solar Tech provides Africa with a clear and sustainable road map for future energy development, there’s never been a better time to scale up the distribution of the only technology on earth that cooks food and boils water without any fuel charges or environmental costs.
Oddly, there are no subsidies and little support for “micro solar systems leaving it to small companies/NGO’s to take up the challenge. SunFires rollout strategy is therefore – out of necessity and passion – to create job opportunities for thousands of young Africans looking to to start their own businesses. What better way to roll out and promote renewable energy products in diverse communities. SunFire acts as a quality control and client care hub ensuring maintenance and client care issues are professionally managed by the Johannesburg central office.
SunFire is passionate about taking an active role in shaping Africa’s immediate eco-logical development and foot print whilst simultaneously improving conditions for the Continents. This is achievable by creating distribution networks run by young Africans that share the values and passion of Ubuntu. An African philosophy that loosely translates to –I do not exist without you, We only come into being when seen by others – an Ethos that fits with Africa as the Birth place of Humanity and last great bastion of rich biodiversity – in people, plants and animals. An Ethos and Continent under siege, we are awakening to the indisputable fact that life is interconnected in ways we are not yet aware of. The technologies SunFire has chosen to champion are aligned to revitalising eco systems and communities. To moving to a post industrial revolution world where capitalism is ring fenced and the priority is quality of life. A world we want for everyone. Clean Cooking and Lighting technologies hold the keys to bridging this global metamorphosis, a path leading to a brighter future with a climate worth living in. Restored forests, game and plant species – .
SunFire is actively seeking partners with similar ethos to make this net-work for everyone, the only model worth working on is a win win for all life on earth, not just humanity.The combination of Africa’s widely spaced communities (impossible to supply using grid electricity) and Sun Drenched climate provides a unique blank canvas to elegantly leap frog mistakes made in the industrial age and lead the way forward to a new Global Solar Age.
SunFires set task is to restore degraded environments back to healthy eco systems. While Solar cooking and clean cooking appliances may be far from most people’s minds as a tool to help achieve these goals. It’s worth remembering that Firewood is still the primary source of energy for half of Earths people and most Africans in particular. Burning “fuelwood” is currently responsible for millions of deaths through smoke inhalation with large Scale deforestation effectively robbing all plants, insects, reptiles and mammals of living space – further impoverishing the environment and communities relying on them. Deforested environments affect local climate conditions and make it harder for sustainable agriculture practices through increased soil loss from runoff and wind erosion. Silted up rivers stifle life all along the water course and can even cause rivers to stop flowing above ground. In fact Cooking and eating is still the most important activity on the planet. SunFire provides a new way to achieve healthy nutrition without causing any harm to the environment or contributing to an unsustainable financial system.
If you had breakfast this morning Solar Cooking is for you.