Author: Marco Dorothal
Many emerging markets are currently leapfrogging the development of their unreliable, or simply non-existent, power grids by using more efficient and economical off-grid alternatives, such as mini-grids. The ever-decreasing costs for solar energy technology have made solar-powered mini-grids cost-competitive with diesel-powered grids, which provides governments with an opportunity to significantly reduce carbon emissions while bringing electricity access to all of their inhabitants.
According to the World Bank, mini-grids have the potential to play a pivotal role in achieving universal access to electricity by 2030. Estimates show that accomplishing that goal would require 40 percent of all installed capacity to come from mini-grids. However, solar mini-grids have been facing quite some challenges in scaling up development.