The off-grid solar industry has grown into a $1.75 billion annual market, providing lighting and other energy services to 420 million users and remains on a solid growth curve, a new World Bank Group and GOGLA report shows.
The 2020 Off-Grid Solar Market Trends report finds that the industry has made tremendous strides in the past decade. Since 2017, revenues from the off-grid solar industry continue to rapidly grow, increasing by 30% annually. To date, more than 180 million off-grid solar units have been sold worldwide and the sector saw $1.5 billion in investments since 2012.
With 840 million people still lacking access to electricity, the growth of the off-grid solar industry is critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030.
“The off-grid solar industry is instrumental for achieving universal electricity access,” said Riccardo Puliti, Global Director, Energy and Extractive Industries and Regional Director, Infrastructure, Africa, at the World Bank. “We are scaling up our support to client countries by helping them leverage this potential through innovative and financially sustainable solutions,” he added.
According to the report, the sector would need an additional boost of up to $11 billion in financing. More specifically, the sector would need to grow at an accelerated rate of 13%, with up to $7.7 billion in external investment to companies and up to $3.4 billion of public funding to bridge the affordability gap.
“Only by crowding in commercial finance at scale can we reach the target of achieving universal access by 2030,” said Paulo de Bolle, Senior Director, Global Financial Institutions Group for IFC. “We are eager to work with our local bank partners in the more mature off-grid markets where commercial debt can drive the next stage of market growth.”
Significant impact off-grid solar industry
Trends demonstrate that companies are moving into new geographies and underserved markets as established markets become more saturated. These companies are also shifting towards larger, higher-margin solar home system sales in response to growing consumer demand for appliances and back-up systems.
“This report is another confirmation of the significant impact off-grid solar has already achieved, and the massive opportunity that remains going forward,” said Koen Peters, Executive Director of GOGLA. “The Market Trends Report shares details on where we stand, and where we should be heading next.”
The report summary of the biennial flagship report, was launched recently by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), in Nairobi at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo. The full report will be available in March 2020.
About Lighting Global
Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s initiative to rapidly increase access to off-grid solar energy for the 840 million people living without electricity world-wide. Lighting Global – managed by IFC and the World Bank – works with manufacturers, distributors, governments, and other development partners to build and grow the modern off-grid solar energy market. The programmes are funded with support from ESMAP, The Public – Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea (IMELS), and the IKEA Foundation.
GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. Established in 2012, GOGLA now represents over 170 members as a neutral, independent, not-for-profit industry association. Its mission is to help its members build sustainable markets, delivering quality, affordable products and services to as many households, businesses and communities as possible across the developing world. The products and solutions that GOGLA members sell transform lives. They improve health and education, create jobs and income opportunities and help consumers save money.