Off-grid solutions cheaper, cleaner and smarter than grid extension – study

Blechinger, P., Köhler, M., Juette, C., Berendes, S. and Nettersheim, C.

Picture: Stiftung Solarenergie

Grid extension is slow, expensive, provides unreliable service, and it increases reliance on fossil-fuel based electricity generation. Grid extension is not a viable answer to the pressing needs of neglected populations. In many regions of the world, SDG7 can be reached cheaper, cleaner and smarter with off-grid solutions compared to a grid extension scenario.

The Reiner Lemoine Institute and the greenwerk have collected and analysed huge amounts of data from all over the world. This data has been translated into interactive electrification scenarios that showcase feasible deployment pathways through which the universal access goal can be met.

Most countries facing the access challenge already have rural electrification programmes; most of these countries have also acknowledged the acuteness of the problem. At the same time, off-grid renewable energy solutions find very little consideration in the same countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The relevance of off-grid renewable energy solutions for climate action has so far been widely neglected. Through this project, the German Development Agency (GIZ) seeks to establish this missing link, by offering new evidence for the exceptional benefits of off-grid renewable energy technologies, and by advocating for greater representation of holistic and sustainable off-grid solutions within countries’ NDCs.

Download the full study.



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