On 2 July 2019, the Kenya Ministry of Energy and the Green Mini Grid Facility Kenya hosted a Workshop entitled “Productive Use of Energy Applications in Off-Grid Energy Systems Workshop,” which focused on the opportunity and challenges in rural electrification, economic development and mini grid businesses in Kenya. The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate dialogue between critical public and private sector actors needed to develop scalable, financially and environmentally sustainable solutions for increasing access to electricity in rural areas, on grid and off grid, that create greater opportunity for Kenyans. Find the report of this event, as well as the Presentations made during this day.

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WASHINGTON, June 25, 2019— Mini grids, previously viewed as a niche solution, can provide electricity to as many as 500 million people by 2030, helping close the energy access gap, according to a new World Bank report. The combination of falling costs, dramatic increase in quality of service, and enabling policies has made mini grids a scalable option to complement grid extension and solar home systems.

Mini Grids for Half a Billion People: Market Outlook and Handbook for Decision Makers is the most comprehensive study on mini grids to date. It provides policy makers, investors, and developers with insights on how mini grids can be scaled up.  It takes stock of the global market and industry, analyses costs and technological innovations, and shows the importance of microfinance and income-generating uses of electricity.  

Compared with main grid and solar home systems, mini grids are a more viable solution for areas with high population density and medium electricity demand. Extending main grid to serve remote communities is often prohibitively expensive. Globally, at least 19,000 mini grids are already installed in 134 countries, representing a total investment of $28 billion and providing electricity to around 47 million people. Most are deployed in Asia, while Africa has the largest share of planned mini grids.

At present the total mini grid investment in countries with low levels of electricity access in Africa and Asia totals $5 billion. It is estimated that $220 billion is needed to connect 500 million people to 210,000 mini grids in these regions by 2030. Across the globe, countries need to actively mobilize private sector investment. This can be achieved by setting up policies that support comprehensive electrification programs, promoting viable business models, and providing public funding, for example through performance-based grants.

Mini grids are now one of the core solutions for closing the energy access gap. We see great potential for mini grid development at scale and are working with countries to actively mobilize public and private investment,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank. “The World Bank has been scaling up its support to mini grids while helping countries develop comprehensive electrification programs. Our commitments to mini grids represent about one-quarter of total investment by the public and private sector in our client countries. The Bank’s portfolio spans 37 mini grids projects in 33 countries, with a total commitment of more than $660 million. This investment is expected to leverage an additional $1.1 billion in cofinancing.”

In addition to being cost-efficient, mini grids have many other benefits. They have positive environmental impacts: 210,000 mini grids powered by solar energy would help avoid 1.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions globally. They also offer national utilities a win-win solution in the electricity sector by paving the way for more financially viable future grid expansion.

By the time the main grid arrives, significant demand for electricity would already exist and customers would have greater ability to pay through the generation of productive uses made possible by mini grids.

Funding for the report was provided by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).

 

PRESS RELEASE NO: 2019/EEX/207

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  • Author World Bank
  • Publication Date Tuesday, 25 June 2019

This guide aims to help practitioners assess whether milling is an appropriate, beneficial and financially viable productive application, both for a community and for a mini-grid developer. It also provides guidance for practitioners on how to operationalize a milling PU, recognizing the complexity of doing so.

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  • Author GMG Kenya
  • Publication Date Monday, 10 December 2018

The guide is the result of the GMG Facility Kenya’s extensive work to support mini-grid developers and the mini-grid industry at large to address sector level barriers to expanding off-grid electrification, with an emphasis on increasing market access and social inclusion for bottom of the pyramid (BoP) consumers and businesses.

Attached are the ICE Making Calculator and a report on ice making.

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  • Author GMG Kenya
  • Publication Date Monday, 10 December 2018
Africa is quickly becoming one of the most significant regions in the global expansion of the solar PV industry. The high levels of solar irradiation, extreme (and growing) energy demand, an increasing amount of renewable energy related commitments by governments in the region, and the lack of reliable energy infrastructure are just some of the factors that are sparking growing interest from local businesses and international stakeholders alike

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  • Author SolarPlaza
  • Publication Date Monday, 05 June 2017
The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the EEP mini-grid portfolio, highlight observations and lessons learned about challenges and opportunities in the mini-grid sector, and provide recommendations for mini-grid developers and the programmes that support them. Countries in Africa are struggling to balance an increasing demand for electricity with the high cost of extending national electricity grids with limited government budgets. With rapid technological development, renewable energy mini-grids are a practical solution to the challenge of electrifying rural areas. Find out more by downloading the EEP Study

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