In 2019, India announced the completion of the Saubhagya Initiative, its program to provide electricity connections to every village and every home in the country. However, even though millions more are now connected, problems remain (and new ones have emerged), including unreliable supply of power, a lack of workforce capacity for utilities (DISCOMs) to serve an expanded customer base and additional stress of fiscal health.
2 billion smallholder farmers are among the most underserved populations in the world. Better access to clean energy has the ability to transform agriculture and speed econonic development, says Factor[e], but financial, operational, technical, and policy barriers need to be overcome.
Long the only choice for off-grid, under-the-grid and back-up power generation in emerging economies, diesel is now on a death watch with the rise of renewable-powered machinery, growing solar adoption by rural enterprises, and business and finance innovation. That means billions of dollars saved and gigatons of emissions avoided.
For mini-grids to attract private investment, they require consistent, reliable, and rapidly deployable Results-Based Financing (RBF) programs. This paper was prepared by the signatory investors to present a unified message of support for these RBF programs to donors.
Less than 15% of $1.7 billion of investment in off-grid energy between 2010-2018 went to mini-grids. Yet $10-25 billion is needed annually to bring electricity to 450 million people by 2030 via renewable energy mini-grids. Investors believe the missing catalyst to unlock private capital is results-based finance (RBF).
Power for All and its partners officially launched Powering Jobs Census 2019: the Energy Access Workforce, the first annual survey measuring employment from decentralized renewables for rural electrification in Africa and Asia.
RMI highlights why Nigeria is the biggest mini-grid show on earth, with a US$8 billion annual revenue opportunity. It has the potential to electrify 14% of its population by building 10,000 mini-grids by 2023.
The deployment of off-grid electricity is one important pathway toward reducing energy poverty. Off-grid technology can meet basic needs at an increasingly affordable cost and, when powered by renewable sources, in a clean manner. Yet until recently, we knew little about the current state of affairs: how much capacity do off-grid systems currently provide? And where?
A huge shortage of capital for the sector remains, with just a decade left to achieve SDG7. And most money is concentrated in a small number of companies while ignoring most high-impact countries. What solutions are needed?
Despite an increase in investment for distributed renewable energy companies over the past 5 years, most of it went to a handful of companies and 93% say they are still trapped in a "Pioneer Gap" between seed and commercial capital. More patient capital is needed. This is according to a recent report, Accelerating Energy Access: The Role of Patient Capital, from campaign partner Acumen.
Power for All gathers together various predictions and trends that we see unfolding for electricity access and the distributed renewable energy sector in 2019.
Distributed renewables play an increasingly important role in promoting energy access, already accounting for 6 gigawatts of capacity in the developing world, with an expectation of providing over 60% of new electricity connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. New analysis in Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap shows that national governments need two things to succeed in creating markets for distributed renewables: 1) institutional capacity and 2) local accountability mechanisms.
As demonstrated in by new data from IRENA, off-grid renewable electricity has grown tremendously across the world over the last decade, but growth was very uneven. Why was off-grid successful in some places and not others?