As the sector matures and productive use of off-grid solar solutions such as solar water pumps, cold storage and other products servicing public institutions become natural expansion areas, companies are increasingly focused on its financial sustainability.
To achieve universal access to electricity by 2030, the off-grid solar sector would need to serve as many as 132 million households, which in turn would require between $6.6 billion to $11 billion in additional financing.
The 2020 edition of the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report is the fifth in a series of biennial reports that was launched in 2010, with the aim of measuring the pulse of the off- grid solar market. This latest edition includes the most comprehensive sales and impact data available, in-depth analysis on current market dynamics and an outlook on the future of the industry.
Key takeaways from the report include:
The off-grid solar sector has grown rapidly over the past decade and is now a $1.75 billion annual market serving 420 million users, with further growth predicted.
Despite its strong growth trajectory, even more investments are needed for the sector to continue playing a key role in achieving universal access to electricity by 2030.
In a business-as-usual scenario, the off-grid solar sector will serve 388 million people with the most basic level of electricity access by 2030, but this growth will be insufficient to achieve universal access targets. To sustain the business-as-usual scenario over the next five years, the sector needs $1.7 billion – $2.2 billion in external investments from 2020 to 2024.
To achieve universal access, the off-grid solar sector would require between $6.6 billion – $11 billion in additional financing. Of this total need, $6.1 -- $7.7 billion will need to come from investments into off-grid solar companies, and up to $3.4 billion represents public subsidies to bridge the affordability gap.
As the sector matures and productive use of off-grid solar solutions such as solar water pumps, cold storage and other products servicing public institutions become natural expansion areas, companies are increasingly focused on financial sustainability of the sector and the need to demonstrate profitability and increase transparency around operational efficiencies.