ITP Energised – Report on Off-Grid Electricity in Africa

ITP Energised have produced a report that presents an overview of the off-grid electricity market in Africa. The report considers British and Japanese organisations involved in the off-grid electricity sector and is also intended as an insight into stakeholders’ thinking.

Currently there are about 840 million people without access to modern affordable and sustainable electricity, and 570m of them are in Africa. In many cases they are in remote location where grid expansion is not an economically viable, so off-grid solutions are well suited to provide wider access to electricity and displace expensive and polluting diesel generators.

According to the 2017 International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, providing access to electricity for everyone would require an annual investment of $52 billion – potentially a sizeable market. The report focuses on two types of solutions that are particularly well suited to provide electricity in off-grid locations in Africa and could constitute a significant proportion of this market – solar home systems and mini-grids.

Solar home systems are immensely popular – there are about 3.9m installed with a capacity of over 32MW. Just from July to December 2018, 480 000 such units were sold. Similarly, mini grids have proven a popular solution with 19 000 installed (a total value of $28 billion) that sever 47 million people.

UK and Japan both have undergone a rapid expansion in their renewable energy capacities and as a result they have accumulated significant expertise. While the neither the market environment nor the available renewable energy resources are directly comparable, a lot of the skills gained by UK companies are transferable and could be used to take advantage of potential opportunities in Africa.

The study performs a market review and then focuses on the UK and Japanese involvement, which could be of interest to organisations that consider pursuing opportunities in Africa.

The report is publicly available on the ITP Energised’s website.