All Africa

What does it take to eliminate energy poverty in Africa?

An alternative energy future for Africa is possible and affordable, but only if Governments can make the shift to more renewable energy sources according to a new report from IEA. Here are the key report findings.

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.

OPINION: Franchising the new paradigm for PAYG solar

The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) market for scaling access to solar energy is maturing quickly. Building market share through customer acquisition is no longer the top priority, being replaced by cost efficiency and portfolio management. More savvy funders are now embracing consolidation, thoughtful expansion or franchising. The era of the PAYG start-up is dead.

Scaling mini-grids: what African countries can learn from each other

It is estimated that by the year 2030, mini-grids will be providing electricity to as many as 500 million people around the world – a huge boost from the current 47 million people across 134 countries who are served by about 19,000 mini-grids. While most of the current mini-grids are deployed in Asia, Africa has the largest share of the 210,000 planned mini-grids by 2030.

Research Summary: Nigeria Mini-Grid Opportunity

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.

Six Nuclear Reactors Worth of Off-Grid Renewable Energy Deployed in Last 10 Years—But Sub-Saharan Africa Lagging

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?

Electrifying Africa’s Labor Market

With more than 600 million people lacking access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, off-grid renewable energy has the potential to transform economies and lift millions out of poverty. But green power can do something else, too: it can help solve the continent’s mounting unemployment crisis. A perspective by Mugo Kibati of M-KOPA and Gilles Vermot Desroches of Schneider Electric.

Video: Solar Electric Cooking

With batteries and solar mini-grids or rooftop PV, induction stoves could offer a one-stop solution for both electricity access and clean cooking. See some examples of what's being tried and learned in Africa

A mini-grid market opportunity assessment of Cameroon

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.

A mini-grid market opportunity assessment of Cameroon

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.

Nigeria Energy Access Taskforce Sets New Targets

Nigeria’s Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) Taskforce, which was launched in February to accelerate modern electricity access initiatives, met July 17, 2018, to review its success since its last meeting and set new milestones to be reached in order to grow the sector.

Campaign Update: May 2018

Power for All had a significant presence at the SEforALL Forum. CEO Kristina Skierka joined a high-level panel on “Electricity for All in Sub-Saharan Africa”, and research director Rebekah Shirley guided an interactive working session called the “Energy Access Dividend- Data that Informs and Influences”, looking at how to further research on socio-economic impacts of electricity access, with participation from Acumen, Duke University, RVE.SOL, wPower Hub and the World Health Organization.

Key to Closing the Energy Access Gap

To meet Sustainable Development Goal 7—clean, affordable, modern energy for all—by 2030 we need a 'revolution' in progress towards the universal energy access target. This infographic, based on data and analysis by the Overseas Development Institute, is a stark illustration of how far we are off track. But decentralized solutions—such as mini-grids and solar home systems—are key to closing the energy access progress gap, and will ensure that 1+ billion people are not left behind.

In conversation with Andrew Herscowitz, Power Africa – Power for All

During the recent Global Off-Grid Solar Forum, we sat down with Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Power Africa, to discuss the future of the initiative’s pioneering market-based effort to scale energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa turns 5 years old in June.

New Energy Access Frontiers Emerging in Oft-Ignored Countries

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is ranked 184 out of 190 on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index and 175 on ease of getting electricity. By comparison, Kenya, a favorite of the donor community when it comes to energy access, ranks 92 and 106 respectively. The World Bank recently credited Kenya $150 million to provide solar to under-served communities.

Sierra Leone Makes Bold Commitments to Universal Energy Access

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, March 22, 2017—The Sierra Leone Government, civil society and private sector joined forces today in a Call to Action on energy access. At the event, attended by the Energy Minister and leading civil society and private sector representatives, each group made powerful commitments to undertake activities that will accelerate the growth of the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) market—vital for reaching 6 million people living in energy poverty.

Video: Africa Energy Indaba

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.

New energy boss targets access, Africa as World Bank priorities

Riccardo Puliti, the newly appointed head of energy and extractives at the World Bank in charge of investing $8 billion a year, says that Africa and India will be the bank’s main focus, and he will pursue an all-of-the-above approach, with a major focus on natural gas and renewables, while coal will remain off limits.

Notes from the Frontline: Devergy

This week, Power for All partner Devergy shared an honest, tell-all look at the difficulties they faced when raising awareness of their solar micro-grid technology in rural communities, and the hard work they put in to creating solutions. Read their first-hand account of the challenges they countered attracting new customers, and how they have turned challenges into opportunity.

Images: Get Sharing!

Making the switch from a familiar energy source to a new solution is a significant commitment, so peer to peer endorsement and over-the-odds benefits are key. Thankfully, for solar lights and solar home systems, big benefits have led to big recommendation.

Campaign Update: February 2017

Find out about recent activities, and the up-coming events where Power for All is profiling decentralized renewables—and get involved!

2017: Ones to Watch

No influencer is an island. It takes leadership across a sector to create a movement for change. Given the wealth of stakeholders who play key roles in the decentralized renewables sector, this list is by no way exhaustive, but it highlights a few of the individuals and organizations that will help to shape 2017

X Learning: A 2017 Game Changer

In 2017, the African Development Bank (AfDB) will hold its annual meeting in India for the first time. The AfDB has targeted 75 million decentralized renewable connections in its plan to achieve universal energy access by 2025, while India has its sights on 40 GW of rooftop solar and 10,000 mini-grids in its bid to achieve “24/7 Power for All” by 2019. Imagine the learnings that the two have to share. Next year, also sees the International Solar Alliance (ISA) hit its stride, bringing together 20+ countries with a major focus on energy access through decentralized solutions, and opportunities for cross-learning are bolstered further under the Paris climate agreement plans for regional partnerships and technology transfer—a key to the low carbon transition.

Why the World Needs Decentralized Renewable Energy

Over 1 billion people do not have access to reliable, affordable electricity; they are often forced to turn to polluting, hazardous, and expensive solutions like kerosene, charcoal and diesel in order to fuel their lives.

Africa’s Leading Mini-Grid Initiative Reports Key Findings

The leading mini-grid program in Africa today released its first findings after nearly two years of deployment in Kenya.

New fund to propel decentralized renewables into mainstream

An industry knows it has gone mainstream when the most risk-averse money—institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, banks, hedge funds, endowments—starts to move in. It looks like that's about to happen for decentralized renewable energy—home and business rooftop solar, mini-grids—in emerging economies like Africa.

Building a global green economy requires Zambia x100

The latest Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) showed that Zambia is crushing it. The country moved up 16 places in the performance rankings between 2014 and 2016, making it the only emerging economy to be in the top 10 besides Brazil.

Off-Grid Fridge Contest Makes Energy Efficiency "Cool" Again

The 1.4 billion domestic refrigerators and freezers in use worldwide each consume an average annual 450 kWh of electricity, accounting for almost 14 percent of total household electricity consumption. As we work to end energy poverty for 1.1 billion people worldwide, those numbers are sure to rise.

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.

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?

Video: African Development Bank Call to Action

Following the launch of our latest report Decentralized Renewables: The Fast Track to Energy Access at the African Development Bank Annual General Meetings, Aaron Leopold, Deputy Director of Global Advocacy spoke live from Lusaka to CNBC Africa, while Cheidza Mazaiwana, Zimbabwe Campaign Director, highlighted to Business Incorporated how decentralized renewables are combating the country's energy crisis. Watch the interviews below and join the call to action.

News Release: Power for All Releases New Framework for Accelerating Energy Access

Lusaka, May 25, 2016 -- At the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meeting today, Power for All released a new framework for achieving universal energy access before 2030, which outlines specific actions multilateral development banks (MDBs) can and should take to expedite delivery of electricity to the 1.1 billion people living without access to modern energy services. The framework, which was previewed at the World Bank Spring Meetings in April, is contained in a report titled “Decentralized Energy: the Fast-Track to Universal Energy Access”.

"New Deal" for Energy in Africa a Big Deal for Off-Grid

During the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, unveiled details of a hugely ambitious “New Deal for Energy in Africa”, which, if fully implemented, has the potential to fundamentally reshape the continent. The New Deal brings together a “transformative partnership”, including the Africa Energy Leaders Group, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, SE4All, Power Africa and the U.K.’s Energy Africa Campaign. Between now and 2025 it aims to use public-private partnerships for innovative financing to add 205 million more connections to the electricity infrastructure. Of that number, 130 million will be on-grid connections, a 160% increase, while 75 million will be off-grid connections—a stunning 20 fold increase from today. It also envisions an increase in access to clean cooking for 130 million households.