How to unlock financing for mini-grids in Africa at scale through multi-stakeholder collaboration
Mini-grids have huge potential for addressing energy access challenges and meeting Sustainable Development Goal 7, with The World Bank’s ESMAP estimating that they could provide electricity to as many as half a billion people by 2030. Critically, however, this would require USD 220 billion of investment, which represents a vast increase on the USD 28 billion invested in mini-grids globally to date.
Project developers and financiers often have different views on the key challenges currently inhibiting sector growth and the possible solutions, including how to increase investment flows. But without a common vision, effective and timely progress is not possible.
This position paper, co-authored by the REPP and the Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), sets out a series of recommendations for ramping up financing for mini-grids in Africa. It is based on insights shared by leading developers and investors from Africa’s solar mini-grids industry during the Mini-grid CEO Roundtable co-hosted by REPP and AMDA in Nairobi in March 2023.
Held under the Chatham House Rule, the event provided both sides with the opportunity to speak openly on these key challenges and share their knowledge and experiences with the common goal of scaling investment in the sector. The recommendations laid out in the paper are the result of those conversations and are grouped into four categories: achieving scale, unlocking deal flow, strengthening ESG and impact, and mitigating regulatory risk.