In late 2018, Power for All conducted the first comprehensive jobs census of the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector, covering pico-solar appliances, solar home systems, standalone and grid-tied commercial and industrial systems, mini-grids and productive use applications such as solar water pumps. This summary synthesizes key findings in the three countries surveyed -- India, Kenya and Nigeria.
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.
More rural customers in India prefer electricity supplied by mini-grids than state grids, while two-fifths of consumption comes from agriculture, according to Smart Power India (SPI).
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) found that under-the-grid areas in Africa offer a multi-billion dollar opportunity for mini-grids and huge savings for state distribution companies.
In the fifth of our mini-grid market assessment series, we highlight the US$639 million opportunity in Ethiopia as quantified by the African Development Bank's Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program. 16.2% of the 100 million population are best served by mini-grids.
Home to 80 million people, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the largest and fourth most populated country in Africa, but also the least electrified. SEforALL Africa hub in conjunction with the African Development Bank published a market assessment as part of the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme (GMG MDP) document series. Here we highlight the key messages.
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.
The Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund has financed 43 mini-grid projects in Africa, and recently published a report explaining that infrastructure financing and regulatory environments are the main ‘make-or-break’ contributors to mini-grid bankability.
The African Development Bank has developed Mini-Grid Market Opportunity Assessments for a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. In this second summary, we highlight the potential of mini-grids in Burkina Faso
Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa) has financed 43 minigrid projects in 10 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. Their recently published report Opportunities and Challenges in the Mini-grid Sector in Africa draws lessons from the EEP Africa portfolio and explains that infrastructure financing and regulatory environments are the main ‘make-or-break’ contributors to mini-grid bankability.
SEforAll Africa hub in conjunction with the African Development Bank recently published a Mini-Grid Market Opportunity Assessment of Cameroon as part of the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme (GMG MDP) document series.
The Africa’s Pulse biannual report by The World Bank focuses on electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa. It looks at recent innovations in access delivery and governance, and how different approaches impact economic development.
Practical Action’s PPEO 2017 focuses on how to finance people-driven energy access solutions. Through case studies from Bangladesh, Kenya and Togo, Practical Action highlights that we already have most of the tools needed to finance a bottom-up renewable revolution.
Recent research by Power for All’s on-the-ground country campaign finds that the Nigerian decentralized renewable energy (DRE) market is large and proven, but the capital required to finance this market remains to be unlocked.
Nearly four billion people are not connected to the internet today, representing a significant opportunity for both socio-economic development and business. Bridging this digital divide requires affordable and reliable access to electricity.
A new analysis by Acumen, exploring the impact of its distributed renewable energy (DRE) investments in 11 countries, finds that the majority of households served by DRE products are near or below the poverty line, and that such products, on average, show positive impact in all well-being metrics measured. The report finds that decentralized renewables represent an opportunity to leapfrog into clean, reliable, need-based energy services.
Subsidies are a common way to support electricity access to poor households. Yet data from the World Bank shows that subsidies are largely failing to help the under-served. In fact, only 10% of electricity subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa flow to households with the lowest income, while subsidizing residential tariffs accounts for the single largest source of utility deficits.
A 2017 World Bank report, Making Power Affordable for Africa and Viable for Its Utilities, analyzes the financial viability of utilities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using utility revenue and operations cost records. The report finds many SSA utilities face huge deficits, and will require a combination of increasing operational efficiency, raising tariffs, and optimizing their generation mix to achieve financial viability.
Power for All partner IISD produces exceptional analysis focused on energy subsidies worldwide through its Global Subsidies Initiative. New data reveals that India’s government is giving short shrift to decentralized renewables when handing out energy subsidies. In fact, less than 1% of all subsidies go to distributed renewables, IISD discovered in a new report, India's Energy Transition: Mapping energy subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India.
For many governments and multilateral institutions, electricity access needs to bring socio-economic development opportunities with it to get the attention and support the sector wants. It is imperative for mini-grids to be able to demonstrate “productive use”.
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) completed a first-of-its-kind quantitative and qualitative study on the impacts of electricity access via distributed solar on rural healthcare services.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says $19.6 billion needs to be invested each year in distributed solutions (mini-grid and off-grid systems) to achieve universal electricity access by 2030. Yet currently just 0.2% of climate finance goes to such solutions, and low-income countries (i.e. the ones who suffer most from energy poverty and climate change) get just 5% of total clean energy finance.