According to a new report, 70 million people worldwide have gained access to electricity through off-grid solar systems. However, these solutions, which are widely used in Africa, remain underfunded, while more than 570 million people still do not have access to electricity.
The impact of off-grid solar systems is being verified. According to the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends 2022: State of the Industry Report, at least 70 million people have gained access to electricity worldwide over the past three years as a result of off-grid solar systems, particularly in Africa. The report was commissioned by the Efficiency for Access Coalition, Open Capital Advisors, and the Global Off-Grid Solar Industry Association (GOGLA), as well as the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as part of its Lighting Global initiative.
According to the report, at least 490 million people worldwide already have access to electricity through off-grid solar systems, an 18 percent increase over 2019. At the same time, at least 10.5 million businesses are using off-grid solar systems. However, this growth has been slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world.
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And worldwide, 733 million people still lack access to electricity. This proportion is increasing with the population growth in some developing countries, particularly in Africa. As a result, the number of people living without electricity has jumped by 10 million from pre-Covid-19 levels. Despite this health crisis, investment in off-grid solar power has increased.
And after the health crisis, some development finance institutions put in place mechanisms to support the recovery of Covid-19-affected businesses. This is the case of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which launched the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform. Its activities have just been extended to support the activities of off-grid solar system suppliers. According to the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends 2022: State of the Sector Report, these companies have already created 370,000 jobs worldwide.
Jean Marie Takouleu