Development of mini-grids has the potential to unlock under-exploited renewable energy resources including solar PV in sub Saharan Africa, and to bring power to the 620 million people without access to electricity.

Mini-grids in rural areas

Uganda’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said mini-grids are the best solution to lack of access to electricity in areas “where the demand is not high and the distance from the grid is long but loads are fairly concentrated with potential for productive use of electricity” such as trading centres and island communities on Lake Victoria.

“Due to the scattered nature of settlements in Uganda, mini-grids play a major role in increasing electricity access. The many people moving to trading centres provide an opportunity for mini-grids,” said Benon Bena, manager off-grid renewable development at REA.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency says 68% of the population in sub Saharan Africa have no access to electricity and that 80% of the energy poor are in rural areas where 63% of the total population lives.

Despite the opportunities for mini-grid development in sub Saharan, analysts say the road to transforming them as a reliable source of electricity generation is full of stumbling blocks that must be addressed by both the governments and the private investors.

According to Virinder Sharma, UK’s Department for International Development, mini-grid development in Africa faces the barriers of inadequate regulations, policy gaps or uncertainty, market fragmentation and unmade linkages and capacity.

“Lack of standardization by regulators, lack of proven commercial business models for project developers and lack of access of to affordable longer term finance,” are the other challenges facing mini-grid development in Africa according to Sharma.

Making progress in Uganda

Some countries, such as Uganda, have made progress in trying new measures not only to attract private investors in mini grid development but also in ensuring the mini grids boost the share of renewable energy in the country energy mix.

View complete article here:

The 2nd Africa Mini Grids Summit will take place on November 18-20 this year in Nairobi, Kenya. To learn more about the event, please contact

Views: 122

Reply to This


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Siten Mandalia updated their profile
Jan 14
Patrick Velasco commented on Patrick Velasco's event 3rd Africa Mini Grids Summit 2016 Tanzania
"If you are nearby Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam today or tomorrow, you may wish to drop by and…"
Nov 27, 2016
Eng. Matthew Matimbwi's discussion was featured

Sub standard solar products

The influx of substandard solar products in Tanzania has a lot of negative impacts on the efforts…See More
Nov 11, 2016
Andreas Lehner's discussion was featured
Nov 11, 2016
Andreas Lehner posted discussions
Nov 11, 2016
Aaron Wong added a discussion to the group Products

Solar Home Lighting System

Some area of Africa countries may have a higher demand of solar electricity other then lighting and…See More
Nov 11, 2016
Drew Corbyn added a discussion to the group Job Notices

Job advert - Pico Solar Product Market Manager. Business Innovation Facility. Malawi

Pico Solar Products Market ManagerBIF (Business Innovation Facility) is a 5 year Programme funded…See More
Nov 11, 2016
Chad Lipton posted blog posts
Nov 11, 2016
Chris Moller posted a blog post

Off-grid Domestic Appliances: Which is better, Purchase or Rental?

Two competing models are emerging for provision of off-grid electricity systems in the Developing…See More
Nov 11, 2016
Aaron Wong posted a blog post

A blog of solar products manufacturing, sourcing knowledges.

There is always huge solar market in the Africa. I heard a lot that poor quality solar products is…See More
Nov 11, 2016
iboxs Technologies( UK) posted a photo

CEO iboxs in West Africa

Iboxs has customer support centre in West and central Sfrica
Nov 11, 2016
Patrick Velasco updated an event

3rd Africa Mini Grids Summit 2016 Tanzania at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

November 28, 2016 to November 29, 2016
The Only Authoritative Platform to Meet Relevant Industry Stakeholders and Deep Dive into Issues…See More
Sep 9, 2016

© 2017   Created by The Lumina Project.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service