Africa’s leaders are learning to love off-grid renewable energy. What used to be seen as, at best, an adjunct to large-scale thermal and hydro-based national grid supply is now being recognised as a major weapon in the drive to provide electricity access to all Africans.
The adjustment from policies based around centrally managed grids towards more devolved power sources needed a shift in mindset, but laggardly uptake of off-grid supply was also based on practical issues. Early interest in solar power was tempered by high costs, and the poor quality of the equipment available.
Costs have fallen, while efficiency and reliability have improved. The growing urgency of the battle to stem global warming, the potential health benefits and wider availability of private investment have added extra impetus.
Read more: Africa Business