Blog Post - May 2020
An off-grid energy future requires learning from the past
The more things change, the more they stay the same. For the nearly 860 million people living without electricity, the technologies and business options for delivering access have grown a lot. Yet a wide gap remains between the cost of providing last-mile electricity and what poorer folks are able to pay. The Energy Access Project, in collaboration with the Energy Access team at CrossBoundary Group, looked at the experiences of seven countries that have made great strides in bringing electricity to their rural populations: Brazil, Chile, Laos, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Tunisia. Despite widely different circumstances and initial electrification rates, there are important similarities. Two stood out: the costs of such programs and the role of subsidies in facilitating last-mile connections.