Off-Grid Industry Yearbook 2016

Sun-Connect News publishes since 2012 practice-relevant articles from renowned international authors of the off-grid business. With more than 6,000 recipients of its regular newsletter, Sun-Connect News is one of the largest information media of this young industry.
The most important articles of the year 2015 were selected for the present anthology, covering the entire spectrum of the off-grid business. The contributions do not provide a comprehensive handbook, but give suggestions, hints and tips. Some essays are also challenging, stimulate in-depth discussion or opposition. And that’s how it should be because the off-grid industry is still young and cutting its own path. To this end, also the controversial discussion of different points of view is important. 
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  • How the good old sun and wind will change Africa – and the world – as we know it 
  • Why should climate philanthropy care about energy access? 
  • A bull in a China shop: How SkyPower’s plan to donate 2 Million solar home kits in Kenya will wreck the energy access market for decades
  • What you need to know about energy and poverty 
  • 4 ways in which the solar distribution market differs between East Africa and Central America
  • Why access to energy is crucial for economic growth and poverty reduction
  • The women can champion use of renewable energy 
  • Reaching the base of the pyramid — and cutting carbon in the process
  • Africa’s mobile-sun revolution
  • Former political activist Thione Niang turns co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa: Reinvention


  • Beyond-the-grid is not just about light, it’s about resiliency 
  • Solar is bringing a new world to women in Zimbabwe
  • Living a good life beyond the grid
  • No grid? No problem! Full power access without the grid
  • Indoor air pollution may kill 4 million a year 
  • Solar irrigation and refrigeration – improving incomes in Zimbabwe
  • Why solar lanterns can’t compete with the grid: Life without light in rural India
  • Solar energy transforming lives in Kenya
  • Solar energy entrepreneur with keen eye for opportunity
  • Solar lights a healthy – and empowering – path in disasters


  • Lessons learned in scaling a social enterprise to solve energy poverty 
  • The ‘Robin Hood’ model: A sustainable product testing for developing countries 
  • Foreign firms don’t boost African tech skills
  • Five mistakes that social entrepreneurs make when crafting their brands 
  • Power surge for women as emerging consumers 
  • A new support for solar entrepreneurs: Sendea
  • Three solar power projects where women are taking the lead
  • Off-Grid solar firms should focus on customer experience, not just energy access 
  • Africa: the incubator of tomorrow
  • Lifting the darkness on the price of light — the effect of fuel subsidies in the off-grid lighting market 
  • How to meet the solar needs of the rural poor – 3 lessons learned
  • 10 things a company needs to know about the market at the base of the pyramid
  • Africa’s new breed of solar energy entrepreneurs


  • The world’s first securitization of Off-Grid solar assets 
  • Can conservative institutions become the most innovative forces beyond the grid? 
  • The underestimated challenge of PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go)
  • Getting the big money into social impact 
  • How crowdfunding might secure energy access 
  • Impact investing needs a better way to measure impact 
  • The rapid rise of impact investing
  • Big money for energy in Africa must be spent on small producers
  • Financial innovation and solar power: conquering energy poverty


  • No phone signal in a disaster? Solar network ‘in a box’ to the rescue 
  • Focus on poverty: Why the grid isn’t always the answer 
  • Is solar-powered LED lighting finally getting a chance to shine? 
  • Three common mistakes when assessing going off grid (solar and storage)
  • Solar plus storage becoming "new normal" in rural and remote Australia 
  • Solar-powered ATMs to deliver clean drinking water in Pakistan
  • Egyptian method filters seawater in minutes 
  • How Rwanda’s clinics have gone off-grid and onto renewable energy 
  • Water shortage problem solved with solar power? MIT makes salt water drinkable 
  • Solar pumps: India’s potential to link electricity access and irrigation needs?
  • D-Lab off-grid energy group launches solar lighting product comparison resource
  • Grid or no grid, efficiency is key to powering the global South
  • Honey, I shrunk the grids: The emergence of ‘nanogrids’
  • Trojan Battery introduces "Farm from a Box" off-grid solution


  • Pakistan: Light in the darkness
  • Half of Australian homes to adopt solar power and move ‘off grid’ from 2018
  • Next big thing in Bangladesh — solar irrigation pumps
  • Kenya’s Maasai women jump-start Africa’s solar revolution
  • Decentralised energy market in rural Cambodia – A site visit to Kamworks
  • Uncertainty in grid expansion and grid supply: A case study in Bihar, India
  • Lighting up the future in Bangladesh
  • Kenya: Solar panels in exchange for tree planting
  • Lighting up learning – getting connected in Zimbabwe
  • In Pakistan, solar lamps turn women into green energy entrepreneurs
  • Myanmar’s path to electrification: the role of distributed energy systems
  • Decoding Modi’s ‘power’ play: ‘Electrification’ doesn’t necessarily mean electricity in homes (India)
  • Business mentoring bringing solar to more off-grid customers in Rwanda
  • A project lights up Ethiopian solar village Arso Amba

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