Let’s go to the black numbers: an innovative decentralised energy supply requires innovative financing instruments

Wolfgang Gregor

Anyone who has observed the off-grid industry in recent years has noticed that there has been a virtual standstill in innovation and creativity in the financial sector. While the industry is developing technologically, with a few exceptions the instruments of the financial industry have remained at the level of their founding fathers.

Time is pressing and the industrialized nations’ focus on Africa should now be capitalized. New products for decentralised energy supply, such as mini grids or battery storage systems, combined with low-cost solar technology are now entering the market. Attractive payment systems such as PayGo or Mpesa were widely introduced and form an ideal basis for profitable business.  Everyone involved has the unique opportunity to make this industry sustainable.  This requires innovative financial products and the end of subsidies for the “old energies”. Most important, the commitment to decentralised energy supply is an unquestionable prerequisite.

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