Report: Change Needed to Ensure Africa's Universal Access to Offgrid Electricity
Energy transformation means the time is right for policymakers to reappraise their approach to energy access, according to a new report from PwC. On current trends, two-thirds of the world’s population will remain without electricity by 2030, which is the target year to achieve the newly agreed post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to energy.
The PwC report – Electricity beyond the grid: accelerating access to sustainable power for all – says a new approach is needed that better recognises the part that off-grid technology can play.
John Gibbs, Africa Deals Power & Utility Lead, PwC, said: “For the millions of people who don’t currently have access to electricity, the old assumption that they will have to wait for grid extensions is being turned on its head by new technological possibilities. 634 million people without electricity are in Africa. Faster progress is needed, and we believe it can be achieved if national energy policies adopt a more comprehensive approach to energy access, embracing the new starting points for energy provided by standalone renewable technology and mini-grids.”
Current electrification strategies tend to focus on national grid extension plans. Instead, Georg Baecker, senior manager and energy policy and regulation expert, PwC said: “Policymakers need to embrace the new renewable off-grid technologies and innovative business models. The combination of centralised top-down grid extension with decentralised demand-driven bottom-up strategies, in the form of mini grids and especially standalone solutions, will speed up the increase in electrification levels.”