Policy Brief - September 2022

Barriers and Policy Solutions for Off-Grid Energy Development

Marc Jeuland, Abebe Beyene, Peter Babyenda, Gabriel Hinju, Richard Mulwa, Jonathan Phillips, and Samuel Zewdie
Off-grid solutions with falling costs and maturing business models could fulfil the energy needs of remote low-income communities. Yet, numerous barriers impede their implementation and understanding perceptions of key barriers and opportunities among private developers remains limited. Survey data from nearly 200 companies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda reveal common and differentiated challenges within and across countries and different Summary types of firms, as well as important trade-offs in regulatory designs and support for the sector. While the policy climate makes a big difference in the perceptions of opportunities and barriers, companies’ preferences regarding tariffs, grid encroachment, and licensing alternatives differ according to their business models, which challenges construction of simple and workable solutions. Achieving SDG7 (sustainable, modern, affordable, and reliable energy for all) needs more policy attention.
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