The Global Off-Grid Solar Market


The Global Off-Grid Solar Market

Report from the World Bank through its Lighting Global Program

In 2017, the global off-grid solar (OGS) sector is providing improved electricity access to estimated 73 million households, or over 360 million people, thus transforming lives that were previously relianton kerosene and solid fuels for most of their lighting needs. This market has evolved and expanded substantially since 2010 when it was marked by low awareness, a single category of lighting-oriented products, and a limitedgeographical presence (mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and India).

Figure 1, below, identifies these key markets’ trajectories for off-grid solar based on four quadrants: harvest, upgrade, accelerate, andresolve. These provide a framework to understand market potential, and possible strategies to follow basedon their starting points:

Harvest:While no countries are squarely located in this quadrant, sales in Uganda continue to rise despite relatively high penetration, suggesting that suppliers can continue to harvest revenues from this active market.

Upgrade:Highly penetrated maturing markets including Kenya and Tanzania have seen sales rates fall, suggesting suppliers may consider upgrading existing customers to higher quality technologies and service levels, and should seek innovative distribution partnerships to penetrate the harder to reach customers. In Myanmar, pico and PnP SHS supplier interest has been low, but they can innovate to upgrade consumers from component-based systems, which are the norm, to safer, and easier to distribute and use pre-packaged off-grid solar products.

Accelerate:Up-and-coming markets in Asia and West and Central Africa show promising growth, where suppliers can continue to scale operations to take advantage of large un-penetrated populations.

Resolve:Several under-penetrated markets have seen sales fall, and would need concentrated supplier investment to resolve context-specific issues, such as challenges in quality standards implementation in Ethiopia, and low supplier interest in Bangladesh and Indonesia.


Figure 1: Estimated sales and penetration of OGS (Off-grid solar) devices in select markets% (2014 H2 - 2017 H1)

Below we have a deeper look at select countries in each of these quadrants to understand the dynamics atplay in different country markets.

Terms Used

Affiliate:Companies that are Lighting Global Program Associates, companies withproducts that meet Lighting Global Quality Standards, or companies thatare GOGLA members. These companies report sales data to GOGLA on aquarterly basis. As a result, much more is known about this universe of


Pico:Lanterns and simple multi-light systems (which may enable mobile charging)of 0-10.999 Wp. These enable partial or full Tier 1 electricity access to aperson or household.

Plug-and-play SHS:All-in-one packaged SHS kits of 11+ Wp, typically powering several lightsas well as energy-efficient appliances, and enabling full Tier 1 or higherelectricity access for a household.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO):PAYGO refers to a business model that allows users to pay for their product

visa embedded consumer financing. A PAYGO company will typically offera solar product (predominantly solar home systems and multi-light picodevices) for which a customer makes a down payment, followed by regularpayments for a term ranging from six months to eight years. Payments are

usually made via mobile money, though there are alternative methods thatinclude scratch cards, mobile airtime and cash.

Countries in the Upgrade Segment

  1. Kenya



Countries in the Harvest Segment

  1. Uganda

Countries in the Accelerate Segment

  1. India

  1. Ghana

Countries in the Resolve Segment

  1. Bangladesh

Source: "Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018." World Bank Group through its Lighting Global Program.

| Article published on 12/06/2018 by Moulin

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