The supply of decentralised solar systems is making progress in Africa, but the existing economic concepts often suffer from not being able to reach remote households: The costs and effort involved in offering these low-income households a solar supply on a purely commercial basis are too high. Although the widespread concept of financing via loans (pay-as-you-go) has led to a considerable increase in the use of solar energy, it has failed to achieve the goal of offering a purely commercial model for remote households.
If the off-grid industry really wants to leave no one behind, concepts that combine the commercial approach with an intelligent subsidy mechanism must be used more intensively. The intelligence of these concepts lies primarily in two points:
More than just providing access to (solar) light and mobile phone charging for households, but at the same time sustainably stimulating local solar SMEs.
Subsidised models must not hinder existing markets or prevent new ones from emerging. On the contrary: they should foster economic development.