All Economics

Beyond COVID, consumer subsidy needed to narrow energy affordability gap

By 2030, 228 million people worldwide are expected to still be without access to electricity due to affordability and access constraints, and COVID is likely to push that number higher. "Demand-side subsidies," i.e. reducing the cost of power to the poorest of the poor, are essential to avoiding this scenario, concludes ACE TAF.

https://www.powerforall.org/decentralized-renewable-energy-covid19-subsidy

Donors: where’s your money promised for minigrids?

Donors have deployed just 13% of the US$ 1.6 billion in funds committed to the minigrid sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, and most of that went to technical assistance consultants, not building projects. Where is the other 87%?, asks the African Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA).

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/donors-wheres-your-money-promised-minigrids

Off-grid sector success post-pandemic hinges on shift to new financing models

Off track and under-funded, the goal of universal energy access will only happen if there is much tighter collaboration between funders to unify a highly fragmented finance landscape, while also maintaining a laser focus on results. SEforALL explains why multi-donor RBF is essential for success.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/grid-sector-success-post-pandemic-hinges-shift-new-financing-models

Off-grid customers struggling: interview with Kat Harrison

85% of off-grid solar customers say their financial situation has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one-fifth reported paying for energy as a "heavy burden". We spoke with 60 Decibels director Kat Harrison to understand where things stand, where they are headed and what's at stake.

https://www.powerforall.org/news-media/interviews/grid-customers-struggling-interview-kat-harrison

Investing in clean energy an opportunity for African middle class

By 2021, the green-energy investing will account for 25% of all energy spending, for the first time ever, surpassing spending on fossil fuels, according to Goldman Sachs. Africa's growing middle class could be pivotal to the continent's transition to a sustainable energy future.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/renewable-energy-investement-africa

Who will rescue off-grid renewable energy from coronavirus?

Eight months after coronavirus was first reported, it is clear that donors, multilateral agencies and governments have failed to offer adequate financial relief to the industry providing energy services to tens of millions of rural poor. As a result, the economic impact on the "energy access" sector is a rapidly unfolding crisis.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/covid-economic-impact-renewable-energy

Energy access enters decade of homegrown innovation

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the global engine of innovation and job creation. On MSME Day, learn about the state of energy access entrepreneurship in Africa and Asia, how disruptive ingenuity is accelerating SDG7, and why financial and technical support for innovation must be redoubled post-pandemic.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/energy-access-enters-decade-of-homegrown-innovation

How community-based education campaigns can increase electricity connections and improve project economics

Placing community awareness campaigns at the core of rural electrification projects can increase connections by 50%, reduce the cost per connection by 24% and significantly improve the overall economics of the projects. This preliminary conclusion emerged as a result of a Community-Based Energy Education Programme led by Energy 4 Impact in Tanzania between October 2018 and December 2019.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/energy-policy/how-community-based-education-campaigns-can-increase-electricity-connections-and-improve-project-economics

Why gender mainstreaming is important to your renewable energy business

While the renewable energy market in African countries is flourishing, companies that adequately address the needs of women in their business plans are a step ahead of their competitors. Here are the key steps to mainstreaming gender across business operations.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/why-gender-mainstreaming-important-your-renewable-energy-business

Commercial and industrial customers to accelerate the energy transition in Africa

Commercial and industrial (C&I) off-takers can become the main driver for the energy transition in Africa and elsewhere. This is in-line with a global trend that is seeing C&I businesses integrating renewable energy solutions to power on-site operations. Renewables address three issues: greening energy supply, reducing cost and making power more reliable.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/africa/commercial-and-industrial-customers-accelerate-energy-transition-africa

Local manufacturing: a next frontier for SDG7

Almost without exception, the growth of distributed renewable energy (DRE) in sub-Saharan Africa and developing economies in South and Southeast Asia has been achieved on the back of inexpensive imports from China. That is changing.

https://www.powerforall.org/news-media/articles/local-manufacturing-next-frontier-sdg7

4 keys to unlock cheap micro-grid finance

To improve lender confidence and increase project financial attractiveness, micro-grid developers should reduce the risks of non-steady cash flows through four short-term actionable strategies

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/4-keys-unlock-cheap-micro-grid-finance

IEA Concludes DRE “Least-Cost Solution” for 75% of SDG7 Connections Needed

An updated analysis of electricity access by the International Energy Agency (IEA) concludes that “decentralised systems, led by solar PV in off-grid and mini-grid systems, will be the least-cost solution for three-quarters of the additional connections needed” to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/dre-least-cost-solution-75-sdg7-connections-needed-iea

Finance Focus: Mini-grids Meet their match.com

“New investors are interested in mini-grids, but they look at companies and say ‘They are not ready for us’,” says Katrina Pielli, senior energy advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “It’s exhausting for investors to go through 16-tab spreadsheets with no two developers presenting things the same way.”

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/finance-focus-mini-grids-meet-their-matchcom

Extending the Horizon: Access to Finance and Kenya’s DRE Market

Our Director of Research, Dr. Rebekah Shirley, took a post-conference opportunity to explore the catalysts of growth in the Kenyan decentralized solar market. In this article, she shares key insights and reflections from KEREA, Steama.co, Azuri and Tropical Power.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/extending-horizon-access-finance-and-kenyas-dre-market

Building Better: Why Decentralized Energy Increases Resilience

One of the most pronounced effects of a changing climate is the increase in extreme weather and other natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. These disasters are not spread evenly: of the 30 countries most affected by changing weather, 26 are least developed countries. To put it another way, 423 million people living in extreme poverty are considered likely to experience the impacts of a changing climate. The tragic events of hurricane Matthew in Haiti are just the most recent example.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/economics/building-better-why-decentralized-energy-increases-resilience

Market Maturing for Tanzania Mini-Grids

East Africa is a leader in the decentralized renewable energy revolution, and along with India it is the most closely watched market as it relates to scaling mini-grids. This is especially true of Tanzania. What happens in Tanzania will have implications for the success of mini-grids elsewhere.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/africa/market-maturing-tanzania-mini-grids

Decentralized Renewables & The Rise of the Micro-Enterprise Economy

Decentralized renewable energy has traditionally been under-estimated in emerging markets as only being capable of delivering electricity for home use, and then mostly for basic lighting. “Productive use”—creating goods and services either directly or indirectly for the production of income or value—has been more elusive.

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/dre-technologies/decentralized-renewables-rise-micro-enterprise-economy

Is AfDB’s new deal on energy forgetting decentralized?

In an advert this week in The Economist, the African Development Bank posted an opening for a Vice President of Power, Energy and Green Growth (VP of PEGG), who it said “will champion the New Deal on Energy for Africa and will lead the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa to achieve universal energy access in Africa.” Great news, right?

https://www.powerforall.org/insights/africa/afdbs-new-deal-energy-forgetting-decentralized