July 18, 2018 Read More →

Small off-grid solar offers big dividends, report finds

PV Magazine:

Gogla has released a report showing the positive economic effects of deploying small-scale pay-as-you-go solar systems in off-grid regions. More than half of the survey’s respondents reported having increased economic activity, with many of those starting new businesses or significantly increasing their household income.

The data shows that 58% of the households, which had recently installed an off-grid solar system, worked more or developed their enterprises, due to the availability of electricity. Additionally, 36% of the households reportedly ramped up their average income by an additional US$35 per month. In the region in question, this is equivalent to 50% of the average monthly GDP of a household.

Furthermore, because of electric lighting, the respondents reported that they could spend 44% more time at work or on chores. Previously, nightfall had prematurely interrupted these activities. This improvement generates income for the households and increases the economic activity of business owners, the report says.

The report surveyed 2,300 people from Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. A range of companies delivered small-scale pay-as-you-go solar systems, which comprised a solar panel, battery, LED lighting and potentially other devices, depending on customer needs.

Koen Peters, Executive Director of Gogla said, “Gogla’s new report shows that the net economic and social benefits off-grid solar are a huge opportunity for national governments of the developing world. Governments tell us they are interested in jobs and economic impact. As this report shows, off-grid solar is directly delivering such impacts and significantly. We call on policymakers, treasury, and energy departments to work together with off-grid companies, banks, and institutions to break down barriers to off-grid solar and build a pathway to accelerate energy access.”

More: Off-grid solar boosts income by 50% of household GDP in Africa – study

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