Standard Bank: Off grid investments ideal for Africa’s energy sector

Africa’s SHS energy segment is currently dominated by small 8 to 200 watt solar panels mounted on the roofs of small rural homes – with larger customised solutions in the affluent market. By allowing customers to pay in instalments via pay as you go, SHS are breaking the affordability barrier for off-grid solutions in Africa.

“As such, looking ahead, most of the growth in terms of households covered by off-grid power solutions could come from service-platform developers able to leverage strong distribution platforms,” says van Tonder.

In Africa’s C&I energy segment, off-grid solar systems have created new markets for investment across the value chain, from the product developer to the integrated service provider. For example, factories and business complexes that produce their own renewable (largely solar) power are proliferating across the continent. Large mines too often also supply electricity to local communities. These captive power systems operate mini and localised grids, “effectively acting like utilities in the supply and sale of power to local communities and businesses,” says Barnes.

Going forward, there is further opportunity to target tier one property companies or corporates with large property portfolios in Africa, “creating local offtake financing solutions for rooftop solar installations on their properties – and then selling energy to local communities,” adds van Tonder.

Standard Bank has developed an off-grid strategy focused on developing a continent-wide off-grid project pipeline aimed at driving the growth of Africa’s off-grid renewables sector.

“With Standard Bank’s established presence in 20 markets, we are particularly well-placed, for example, to use available information to identify and unlock rational off-grid user-pay opportunities for revenue-independent power development and supply across the continent,” says Barnes.

Source: BizNis Africa


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