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Solar power has a huge potential in electrifying rural communities, particularly in the developing world. It offers the possibility of a clean, affordable energy source which may reduce the environmental impact of existing, fossil fuel based sources. The life-cycle carbon emissions resulting from off-grid solar powered lighting solutions are an important factor influencing the environmental impact of implementing such solutions. This issue is particularly relevant when assessing the case for carbon financing for such a project. However, few studies have addressed the carbon saving potential of such off grid systems. Here, we analyse a distribution model known as a Solar Charging Kiosk which enables access to photovoltaic electricity for rural, off-grid communities. Using a kiosk which has been established in the Bugesera region of Rwanda as a model system, the carbon savings avoided from reduced use of kerosene based lighting are calculated based on real system performance and usage data of customers of the kiosk. Strategies to further increase the emissions mitigation potential of the system are proposed.