The Power for All panel at the Africa Energy Indaba 2017 brought together some of the sharpest minds in the sector to ask: "How far and fast will distributed renewables go?". The result was a conversation that challenged the status quo.

From policy to planning, business models to blockchains, check out the videos below for the panel’s top 6 insights and questions:

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The utility of the future

1. ‘Can’t we all just be friends?’ asks off-grid smart meter provider SteamaCo’s Sam Duby, as he explains that mini-grids, solar home systems and the traditional grid are complementary, and will coexist in the future. 

When Powerhive first entered Kenya

2. The private sector can and should proactively engage with the government to help shape policy—in fact each cannot operate in isolation. Powerhive’s Rik Wuts profile’s the mini-grid developer’s experience entering a new market, and how the government was receptive to their pragmatic approach. 

Why it is important to include decentralized renewables in national planning

3. There are still political challenges to including distributed energy in a national energy plan, but it is vital to meet the energy access challenge in countries across Africa, says Martin Potgeiter of impact investment advisor D.Capital Partners.

Business models and technology working together

4. Scaling up distributed renewable power means finding business models that make it easy for both customers and sources of finance: The Sun Exchange’s Morwesi Ramonyai tells us how the organization’s solar marketplace uses a blockchain based technology to achieve that. 

Raising awareness and working together with governments

5. Increasing awareness of distributed renewables is vital: mini-grids can help governments achieve their electrification goals more effectively, but stakeholders need to work in partnership to make it happen. 

The future is decentralized

6. Morwesi nicely sums up a vision of the future of energy: "decentralized, democratized and distributed".