Current approaches to off-grid electricity need to be replaced with new renewable off-grid technologies, in combination with innovative business models and mobile payments to achieve access to electricity for Africa according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report.
The report titled “Electricity beyond the grid: accelerating access to sustainable power for all”, released this week, said that unless Policymakers get out of a top-down mindset and support the role that a range of renewable energy off-grid technologies and new business models, achieving the UN 2030 target of electricity for all in Africa will be illusory.
Five recommendations for accelerating the increase of electrification were identified as keys to achieving energy access for over 600 million people in Africa without on-grid energy access.
It includes developing an integrated energy access plan and map, creating an enabling environment for off-grid development, recognizing the value of and promoting the growth of mobile infrastructure, microloans and payment solutions in supporting energy access and establishing an off-grid innovation and development fund.
“For the millions of people who don’t currently have access to electricity, the old assumption that they will have to wait for grid extensions is being turned on its head by new technological possibilities. 634 million people without electricity are in Africa. Faster progress is needed, and we believe it can be achieved if national energy policies adopt a more comprehensive approach to energy access, embracing the new starting points for energy provided by standalone renewable technology and mini-grids, John Gibbs, Africa Deals Power & Utility Lead, PwC, said.