Mini-grids don’t just provide access to electricity, they are a catalyst to economic growth and improved...

Mini-grids don’t just provide access to electricity, they are a catalyst to economic growth and improved livelihoods

A race is underway to provide energy access to 1 billion, mostly rural, people living without electricity. That access will be delivered in many ways; through the traditional grid, via rooftop solar for homes, and increasingly by scaling an innovative, community-based approach called “mini-grids.”

But instead of requiring US$15,000 per kilometer to extend often over-stressed and unreliable grids, or limiting people to lighting and phone charging as some rooftop solar systems do, mini-grid technology allows small power plants to be built where they are needed, and if well designed, to reliably power whatever loads and appliances are needed. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said mini-grids and other non-centralized solutions are the least-cost option for connecting three-quarters of those still living without basic electricity.

All that’s required is US$15 billion a year between now and 2030, the IEA says, to fund the needed mini-grids. That might seem like a lot, but to put it in perspective, it’s just one-third of what American consumers spend each year on pet care.

When impact is measured over a longer period of time, the story gets really compelling. Over the last five years, for example, an RVE.SOL mini-grid in Kenya’s Sidonge village has boosted the local community. A combination of access to power, small business education and third party finance has empowered the creation of 14 small enterprises ranging from a hairdresser to a hugely popular community video hall.

In education and healthcare, the impact in Sidonge has also been felt, with a 180% increase in school attendance by girls. Why? Mini-grid electricity is cheaper than kerosene so homes have more disposable income. They can afford school uniforms, and girls can study at night without affecting their ability to do traditional daytime chores. Lighting has also enabled night-time study groups, upping the average primary school grades by 40%.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2018/09/06/why-mini-matters-to-achieve-power-for-all/

#minigrids


Why "Mini" Matters To Achieve Power For All | CleanTechnica
Mini-grids don’t just provide access to electricity, they are a catalyst to economic growth and improved livelihoods

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