Decentralised access to electricity through mini-grids in Tanzania
Think tank: Institute of Development Studies
Author(s): Ana Pueyo
September 6, 2022
This report from UK think tank the Institute of Development Studies looks at mini-grids as a technology for electrifying remote communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Renewable, decentralised mini-grids are a promising technology for electrifying remote communities in sub-Saharan Africa. However, most mini-grids struggle not only to obtain a profit, but also to recover costs. This Policy Briefing describes the case of a private, for-profit mini-grid business model which also developed the productive commercial uses of electricity to achieve financial sustainability. The model failed due to high regulatory risks, initially high tariffs, and complex management of commercial activities. We argue that public–private partnerships and collaboration with local agrobusinesses could improve affordability, reduce risks, and ensure long-term sustainability.