Lighting Global Powers Off-Grid Lighting

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According to a news release from Lighting Global, a new report finds off-grid energy solutions represent a $3 billion market opportunity for investors.

By 2020, the sales of off-grid solar products in emerging markets are expected to reach $3.1 billion, providing access to improved energy for 99 million households with no access to the grid, according to a new report released today by the World Bank Group and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), in collaboration with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).

Lighting global market-trend-report-696x320The report, titled Off-Grid Solar Market Trends, tracks the technological advances and innovative business models which have emerged to transform the lives of millions through affordable modern solar energy services. It shows that the off-grid solar industry is benefiting from a wave of development partners, and investors are committing significant funds, with a primary focus on pay-as-you-go business models.

The report finds that annual investments into the industry rose to $276 million in 2015, a fifteen-fold increase since 2012. It also shows that 89 million people in Africa and Asia already enjoy improved access to energy by using off-grid solar products.

“The report provides a comprehensive view of the state of one of the most impactful industries in the global economy today,” said Russell Sturm, Global Head of IFC’s Energy Access and World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program. “This is the third in a series produced by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program since the industry’s emergence seven years ago and illustrates how off-grid solar can be a game changer for development as well as a unique business opportunity for the private sector in the energy access space.”

lighting global bangladesh Bangladeshi-woman-sawing-696x320Solar-powered portable lights and home kits offer a safer, cheaper and environmentally-friendlier service to the estimated 1.2 billion people living without access to the power grid.

Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform supporting sustainable growth of the international off-grid lighting market as a means of increasing energy access to people not connected to grid electricity.

Through Lighting Global, IFC and the World Bank work with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), manufacturers, distributors, and other development partners to develop the off-grid lighting market.

“This report marks the success of cooperation between GOGLA, Lighting Global and BNEF in collecting valuable market intelligence.” said Koen Peters, GOGLA executive director. “The data and insights this report provides are critical for informing policy makers, investors and other stakeholders to help grow and strengthen our industry, and provide essential information to solar businesses.”

IFC and World Bank jointly manage off-grid lighting programs in more than 10 African countries through the Lighting Africa program. The success of the Lighting Africa program has inspired programs in Bangladesh, India and Papua New Guinea, with more programs being developed in Pakistan and Indonesia.

Lighting Global supports Lighting Africa, Lighting Asia and Lighting Pacific, each of which support the supply chain of off-grid lighting products and systems to reduce market entry barriers.

The products listed on Lighting Global’s website have met the Lighting Global Quality Standards following rigorous testing according to methods specified in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Specification 62257-9-5.

This extensive list of products shows immense promise in the provision of safe and healthy off-grid lighting solutions.

Images via Lighting Global

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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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4 thoughts on “Lighting Global Powers Off-Grid Lighting

  • So consumers save $3.15 for every dollar spent on solar not including saving time, and averting the health and fire problems with kerosene lanterns. Sounds like a darn good reason.

    The one thing that I wonder about with the focus on cheap disposable, is that it seems to me that there would be an opportunity to make some of these things only slightly more expensive with a replaceable battery. The solar and the LED parts should last much longer than 2-3 years. I’m thinking something like the 18650 batteries which are mass produced.

  • A solar lantern made from a $2 garden light can be cost effective.

  • I hope, but do not expect, that regulators are keeping an eye on the effective interest rates charged to the unsophisticated peasants who are buying solar kit. Typically they buy on PAYGO through mobile systems, few of which offer interoperability and hence competition between providers.

    • OTOH, even if the effective interest rate is high, if the total cost is significantly less than the cost of kerosene lamps then it’s still worth it to the buyers.

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