Blog Post - December 2020

Lessons from the proliferating mini-grid incentive programs in Africa

A few years ago, least-cost electrification models began pointing to an exciting possibility: solar and solar-diesel hybrid mini-grids could be the cheapest way to deliver reliable, on-demand electricity for hundreds of millions of people without power. This was especially promising for sub-Saharan Africa, where the insolvency and dysfunction of national utility companies had led to slow progress in electrifying rural populations. Governments and donors formed partnerships to support an array of new mini-grid programs. It’s time to begin the learning about regulatory development and financing structures required to ramp up this delivery platform. We studied 20 mini-grid programs in sub-Saharan Africa, 17 of which are currently being implemented, in order to pull out some initial lessons.
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