New Energy Access Reports – March 2017

ESMAP 2016 Annual Report, World Bank/ ESMAP

The ESMAP Annual Report 2016 takes a comprehensive look at ESMAP’s programs, activities, and results for FY2016 and for the business plan cycle for FY2014-06.

The first chapter highlights our work for the year, followed by chapters providing an overview of FY2016 activities and results in ESMAP’s main program areas: energy assessments and strategies, energy access, energy efficiency, and clean energy, with special attention to global geothermal development, renewable energy resource mapping, and variable renewable energy integration.

The report also includes sections on special initiatives such as the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Knowledge Hub; Gender and Energy; the Africa Renewable Energy and Access Program (AFREA); the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE); and the support program for small island developing states (SIDS DOCK).


Stimulating Pay-as-you-go Energy Access in Kenya and Tanzania: The Role of Development Finance, World Resources Institute

The solution to the challenge of financing the scale-up of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) energy access lies not so much in the development of new initiatives but in the use and redirection of existing approaches for PAYG, particularly the use of credit guarantees, lines of credit, technical assistance, and investment in a “fund of funds”.
This publication offers recommendations to key stakeholders for developing a coordinated approach, including international DFIs and donor agencies, national government agencies involved in rural electrification, and private sector investors who are increasing their investments in the energy access area.


Can Solar Lanterns Improve Youth Academic Performance? Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh, World Bank

This study presents the results from an experimental intervention in unelectrified areas of northern Bangladesh to investigate the effectiveness of solar products in improving children’s educational achievement. According to the study, treated households substituted solar lanterns for kerosene-based lighting products which decreased the total household expenditure. Although the solar lanterns initially led to an increase in school attendance, this effect diminished over time. The study then concluded that improving the home-study environment solely through the provision of solar products may have a limited impact on children’s educational achievement.


Strategies for Expanding Universal Access to Electricity Services for Development, WRI

This paper proposes an approach to scaling electricity access that aims not only to provide electricity services to unserved or underserved populations but to ensure that those services are appropriately matched to people’s development needs. The work of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has already demonstrated that people’s access to electricity supply cannot be understood as a binary issue of “connected/not connected.” ESMAP’s Multi-tier Framework for electricity access defines five tiers of access, each tier involving progressively higher demands in terms of power delivery and hours of availability.

Building on this understanding of electricity supply and demand, the paper argues that the relationship between electricity access and development is two-way. Development cannot be accelerated without access to electricity, but financially self-sustaining electricity access initiatives cannot be supported without successful development that underpins strong and sustained demand for electricity services.


Money is Power: Tracking finance flows for decentralised energy access in Tanzania, iied

Investment in Tanzania’s energy sector is growing, but how much attention is being given to decentralised energy solutions for people who still lack energy for their basic needs: to light their homes and power their farms and businesses? This study maps the available data on finance for decentralised energy access in Tanzania, and compares this to funding needs. It finds that the vast majority of public energy finance is flowing to large grid-connected projects and only a small proportion supports decentralised energy access. To encourage investment in the sector and ensure that no one is left behind, stakeholders need to implement a range of policy, finance and capacity building interventions.


Making mini-grids work: productive uses of electricity in Tanzania, iied

Mini-grids could help unlock inclusive growth in remote rural areas, but few proactively stimulate productive uses of electricity, as this often requires resource-consuming actions and expertise. This paper characterises the current mini-grids’ industry, taking into account operators’ models and strategies. It then focuses on Tanzania, in particular JUMEME, a new and sophisticated private initiative that aims to build energy use and bring a strong added value to rural areas. It ends with recommendations for helping such private actors develop the areas they serve.


Rural energy access through solar home systems: Use patterns and opportunities for improvement, Ognen Stojanovskia et al.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) products are touted as a leading solution to long-term electrification and development problems in rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet there is little available data on the interactions between solar products and other household energy sources (which solar PVs are often assumed to simply displace) or the extent to which actual use patterns match up with the uses presumed by manufacturers and development agencies.

This paper probes those questions through a survey that tracked approximately 500 early adopters of solar home systems in two off-grid markets in Africa. We find that these products were associated with large reductions in the use of kerosene and the charging of mobile phones outside the home. To a lesser extent, the use of small disposable batteries also decreased. However, solar home systems were, for the most part, not used to power radios, TVs, or flashlights. We also did not observe adopter households using these solar products to support income-generating activities.