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Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes, players stress on partnerships for more development

Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes, players stress on partnerships for more development

The market for pay-as-you-go-home solar packages is likely to inflate in the African continent as millions of homes have already commenced utilizing mobile technology to rent low-cost solar panels. A recent report published by Kleos Advisory claims that the UK investors might tap into Africa's USD 24 billion market for off-grid solar power as an investment opportunity.

Finding this excellent opportunity to tap the off-grid solar industry (that makes a lasting economic, social and environmental impact) in Africa, Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), in association with The World Bank Group's Lighting Global Platform, successfully completed the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 in Kenya's capital, Nairobi between February 18 and February 20, 2020. The global media platform, Devdiscourse was a media partner of this three-day event.

The Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 provided a unique podium for knowledge exchange, networking and showcasing off-grid solar products and services. It looked forward to strengthen the development of the global off-grid solar market contributing to achieve universal energy access by 2030.

You can scroll down this LIVE DISCOURSE to know the previous updates on the event. This has been also an interactive podium where you can share your innovations, techniques, viewpoints, opinions et al in the form of texts, snaps and videos that will be aired after editorial review.

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Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes, players stress on partnerships for more development - Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes with renewed commitment by stakeholders

Kenya | Subhro Prakash Ghosh
Updated: 21-02-2020 04:06 IST Created: 14-02-2020 16:07 IST

11:57 PM Over 1,250 participants from the leading off-grid solar energy companies, governments, development partners, and investors attended the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo held this week in Nairobi, Kenya. The stakeholders acknowledged the need for further growth in the off-grid solar market. The renewed commitment will accelerate progress towards universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy by 2030.The participants called for more investments and collaborations to reach 840 million people who still live without electricity and another estimated 1 billion people who live with weak grid connections, according to the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report released at the outset of the meeting. Read More

8:40 PM One of the sessions for third day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 titled ‘Future of off-grid foresight activity’ emphasized more on the strategies the manufacturers, stakeholders, policymakers, private and public institutions et al need to ponder upon.The experts touched many issues in details encircling the topic of the session ‘Future of off-grid foresight activity’. Experts agreed to one point that strategic foresight is a tool that can be utilized to show visions with stakeholders, which is quite important to visualize upcoming technologies.The experts also came to a point that in African nations, technologies are adapting to the informal economy rather than formalizing it. The future of off-grid solar technology is immense in Africa due to the booming of youth population, and it will continue to flourish if education and human capital are valued as investment.On the other hand, the future of off-grid solar technology is tremendous, according to the experts, due to the rising urbanization. This constant rising is vowed to alter the requirements of the population.Finally, the experts had put light on the displacement of population due to the catastrophic weather situations. As extreme weather events are getting more and more frequent and severely causing heavy migration, the adoption of off-grid solar technology is a positive option for the refugees.

8:30 PM Public advocacy is very important for any company and the scenario is similar when it comes to the off-grid solar sector. A significant portion of the target market of the sector is in the rural areas which means that the advertising options are limited for companies working in this sector.In such a case public advocacy or public recommendation can work wonders in favor of a brand. In a session called 'Effective advocacy for companies' during Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020, experts on the panel talked about how companies can make it happen.Experts suggested that the players in the off-grid solar industry should focus on win-win scenarios for the government, people and the company itself. Some examples for that could be hiring locals, working to enhance consumer value.Long-term advocacy could also be ensured by collaborating with companies and organizations in the off-grid solar sector as well as the allied sectors like telecom, e-waste companies.

4:10 PM The price point of off-grid solar appliances creates a divergence between the most impactful appliances and the ones where the market has more potential to scale. Panel experts during a session titled 'Unlocking higher levels of energy access: achieving market scale for appliances and productive use' acknowledged that most appliances are still too expensive compared to the monthly disposable income of the lowest-income half.They debated about how more technological innovation and R&D are needed on component efficiency of parts like battery and DC compressors. The research needs to be targeting products that are suitable for rural communities, which makes it a challenge, but the industry potential could make it a viable option for private players.

4:00 PM In a session during Day 3 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020, panel experts discussed the 'open solar' challenge that the industry is facing as it grows more mature.Interoperability or 'open solar' involves the standardization of voltage levels, plug, and other things so that consumers can purchase products without worrying about compatibility which would make the markets more affordable, reduce cluster of products in rural homes which are often small and will also help in reducing waste.Experts agreed that a lot of technical innovation and R&D would be required to make open solar a reality for rural Africa while also ensuring that the products currently being used don't go obsolete but industry leaders acknowledged the need for introducing interoperability.

0:18 PM The third and final day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 opens in Nairobi on Thursday, February 20 with many experts from various parts of the world. Here we have some of the major session-titles with the names of a few speakers below.The final day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 directly commences on the business opportunities and discussing how to coagulate the collaboration of private companies, institutions, public bodies, local manufacturers to ensure unlocking of higher levels of energy access.The third day’s first session starts with a session titled ‘Can public institutions present an off-grid business opportunity?’ The key speakers for this session are Jem Porcaro, Lead Energy Access Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All; and Ralhan Elahi, Lead Energy Specialist, The World Bank. Read more

01:57 AM Over 420 million people are benefitting from the off-grid solar energy and the sector has grown into USD 1.75 billion annual market, a new report by the World Bank Group in association with GOGLA showed.The summary of the report was unveiled on Day 1 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 being held in Nairobi, Kenya. While talking about the report, Russel Sturm from International Financial Corporation (IFC) and one of the authors of the report said, "Every two years we take the pulse of the industry and we come together as an industry ... its astounding to see the innovation that has taken place in 12 years."Sturm said to Devdiscourse on the sidelines of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 that connecting to the electric grid is an unaffordable and time-taking option for rural people who still lack an electric connection. "To reach 420 million people with an electric grid by expanding it into rural areas would take a lot longer compared to the 12 years it took to achieve this with solar," he added.Being an affordable and faster alternative, the off-grid solar sector remains on a solid growth curve. To date, more than 180 million off-grid solar units have been sold worldwide and the sector saw USD 1.5 billion in investments since 2012.Explaining how the off-grid solar sector has developed over the years, Dana Rysankova from World Bank Group's Lighting Global talked about how the catalog of solar power products has changed, from offering only small lanterns a decade ago to selling complete solar home systems which are available in the market now. Read more

00:02 AM Day 2 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 has been wrapped up with final remarks from officials from GOGLA, World Bank, IFC along with Simon K. Kachapin, Chief Administrative Secretary, Kenya's Ministry of Energy.Sessions on Wednesday were on topics ranging from enhancing value for consumers, the potential of the sector in a humanitarian setting to achieving financial viability and sustainability. The need for subsidies but in a way that it doesn't disrupt the sector was also discussed during interactive panel discussions.The discussions also focused on the e-waste problem that is growing as the off-grid solar sector grows. Panel experts discussed how collaborating with allied sectors might be the answer to the e-waste problem.Vijay Gada, GOGLA's regional representative for India, also embraced the need for more partnerships to help the sector grow. "Companies need to see each other as partners and collaborators and not as competitors," he said.

6:44 PM The Lighting Africa program was launched by the World Bank Group in 2009 with a tremendous objective to reach 250 million people with off-grid solar products by 2030. But surprisingly, the off-grid solar industry outshined the goal of 250 million in 2019, ahead of more than a decade.The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Platform, Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) unveiled the ‘Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2020’ in collaboration with Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Vivid Economics and Open Capital Advisors on the sidelines of the ongoing Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 taking place in Nairobi from February 18 and 20.The Executive Director of GOGLA, Koen Peters has shared his thoughts on the recently launched report titled ‘Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2020’ in an exclusive conversation with Devdiscourse. Read more

6:09 PM For any private company working in a humanitarian setting, financial sustainability remains one of the most pressing questions and the scenario is similar for Solar Home Systems (SHS) companies.During a session called 'Off-grid solar in displacement and refugee situations', audience and the panel alike were asked a similar question, "For SHS companies, if you get a grant to enter a humanitarian setting, how long do you think it takes to become sustainable in these markets? How long would you need support?".While 40 percent of the audience who voted thought that it will take more than 5 years to achieve sustainability, around 35 percent thought that SHS companies can become sustainable in 2 years.The panel consisted of Iwona Bisaga, Research and Insights Manager, BBOXX; Mitchell Sauers, Global Commercial Director, Fenix International; Alex Evangelides, Investment Director, Finca Ventures; Victor Agandi, PayG Business Leader, Greenlight Planet. The panel debated that the answer to the question depends on a lot of things like when can the consumers repay, diversity of markets, if you can set up establishments near the consumers. According to them, it would take at least 2-3 years after the grant to even be able to answer the question.

Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes with renewed commitment by stakeholders

Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 concludes with renewed commitment by stakeholders

Over 1,250 participants from the leading off-grid solar energy companies, governments, development partners, and investors attended the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo held this week in Nairobi, Kenya. The stakeholders acknowledged the need for further growth in the off-grid solar market. The renewed commitment will accelerate progress towards universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy by 2030.

The participants called for more investments and collaborations to reach 840 million people who still live without electricity and another estimated 1 billion people who live with weak grid connections, according to the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report released at the outset of the meeting. Read More.

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Experts discuss why future of off-grid solar technology is immense in African countries

Experts discuss why future of off-grid solar technology is immense in African countries

One of the sessions for third day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 titled ‘Future of off-grid foresight activity’ emphasized more on the strategies the manufacturers, stakeholders, policymakers, private and public institutions et al need to ponder upon.

The experts touched many issues in details encircling the topic of the session ‘Future of off-grid foresight activity’. Experts agreed to one point that strategic foresight is a tool that can be utilized to show visions with stakeholders, which is quite important to visualize upcoming technologies.

The experts also came to a point that in African nations, technologies are adapting to the informal economy rather than formalizing it. The future of off-grid solar technology is immense in Africa due to the booming of youth population, and it will continue to flourish if education and human capital are valued as investment.

On the other hand, the future of off-grid solar technology is tremendous, according to the experts, due to the rising urbanization. This constant rising is vowed to alter the requirements of the population.

Finally, the experts had put light on the displacement of population due to the catastrophic weather situations. As extreme weather events are getting more and more frequent and severely causing heavy migration, the adoption of off-grid solar technology is a positive option for the refugees.

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How can off-grid solar companies create positive public advocacy

How can off-grid solar companies create positive public advocacy

Public advocacy is very important for any company and the scenario is similar when it comes to the off-grid solar sector. A significant portion of the target market of the sector is in the rural areas which means that the advertising options are limited for companies working in this sector.

In such a case public advocacy or public recommendation can work wonders in favor of a brand. In a session called 'Effective advocacy for companies' during Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020, experts on the panel talked about how companies can make it happen.

Experts suggested that the players in the off-grid solar industry should focus on win-win scenarios for the government, people and the company itself. Some examples for that could be hiring locals, working to enhance consumer value.

Long-term advocacy could also be ensured by collaborating with companies and organizations in the off-grid solar sector as well as the allied sectors like telecom, e-waste companies.

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Impact vs market potential of appliances

The price point of off-grid solar appliances creates a divergence between the most impactful appliances and the ones where the market has more potential to scale.

Panel experts during a session titled 'Unlocking higher levels of energy access: achieving market scale for appliances and productive use' acknowledged that most appliances are still too expensive compared to the monthly disposable income of the lowest-income half.

They debated about how more technological innovation and R&D are needed on component efficiency of parts like battery and DC compressors. The research needs to be targeting products that are suitable for rural communities, which makes it a challenge, but the industry potential could make it a viable option for private players.

  • 0 Like
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  • 0 Comment

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The 'open solar' challenge in off-grid solar industry

In a session during Day 3 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020, panel experts discussed the 'open solar' challenge that the industry is facing as it grows more mature.

Interoperability or 'open solar' involves the standardization of voltage levels, plug, and other things so that consumers can purchase products without worrying about compatibility which would make the markets more affordable, reduce cluster of products in rural homes which are often small and will also help in reducing waste.

Experts agreed that a lot of technical innovation and R&D would be required to make open solar a reality for rural Africa while also ensuring that the products currently being used don't go obsolete but industry leaders acknowledged the need for introducing interoperability.

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Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo: 3rd day on e-cooking, growing solar biz, PAYGo companies & more

Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo: 3rd day on e-cooking, growing solar biz, PAYGo companies & more

The third and final day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 opens in Nairobi on Thursday, February 20 with many experts from various parts of the world. Here we have some of the major session-titles with the names of a few speakers below.

The final day of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 directly commences on the business opportunities and discussing how to coagulate the collaboration of private companies, institutions, public bodies, local manufacturers to ensure unlocking of higher levels of energy access.

The third day’s first session starts with a session titled ‘Can public institutions present an off-grid business opportunity?’ The key speakers for this session are Jem Porcaro, Lead Energy Access Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All; and Ralhan Elahi, Lead Energy Specialist, The World Bank. Read more

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Lighting Global's Russel Sturm and Dana Rysankova talk about potential of the sector

Lighting Global's Russel Sturm and Dana Rysankova talk about potential of the sector

Over 420 million people are benefitting from the off-grid solar energy and the sector has grown into USD 1.75 billion annual market, a new report by the World Bank Group in association with GOGLA showed.

The summary of the report was unveiled on Day 1 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 being held in Nairobi, Kenya. While talking about the report, Russel Sturm from International Financial Corporation (IFC) and one of the authors of the report said, "Every two years we take the pulse of the industry and we come together as an industry ... its astounding to see the innovation that has taken place in 12 years."

Sturm said to Devdiscourse on the sidelines of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 that connecting to the electric grid is an unaffordable and time-taking option for rural people who still lack an electric connection. "To reach 420 million people with an electric grid by expanding it into rural areas would take a lot longer compared to the 12 years it took to achieve this with solar," he added.

Being an affordable and faster alternative, the off-grid solar sector remains on a solid growth curve. To date, more than 180 million off-grid solar units have been sold worldwide and the sector saw USD 1.5 billion in investments since 2012.

Explaining how the off-grid solar sector has developed over the years, Dana Rysankova from World Bank Group's Lighting Global talked about how the catalog of solar power products has changed, from offering only small lanterns a decade ago to selling complete solar home systems which are available in the market now. Read more.

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Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo Day 2 wraps up

Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo Day 2 wraps up

Day 2 of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 has been wrapped up with final remarks from officials from GOGLA, World Bank, IFC along with Simon K. Kachapin, Chief Administrative Secretary, Kenya's Ministry of Energy.

Sessions on Wednesday were on topics ranging from enhancing value for consumers, the potential of the sector in a humanitarian setting to achieving financial viability and sustainability. The need for subsidies but in a way that it doesn't disrupt the sector was also discussed during interactive panel discussions.

The discussions also focused on the e-waste problem that is growing as the off-grid solar sector grows. Panel experts discussed how collaborating with allied sectors might be the answer to the e-waste problem.

Vijay Gada, GOGLA's regional representative for India, also embraced the need for more partnerships to help the sector grow. "Companies need to see each other as partners and collaborators and not as competitors," he said.

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‘Over 800mn people need to be linked with off-grid solar products,’ says Koen Peters

‘Over 800mn people need to be linked with off-grid solar products,’ says Koen Peters

The Lighting Africa program was launched by the World Bank Group in 2009 with a tremendous objective to reach 250 million people with off-grid solar products by 2030. But surprisingly, the off-grid solar industry outshined the goal of 250 million in 2019, ahead of more than a decade.

The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Platform, Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) unveiled the ‘Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2020’ in collaboration with Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Vivid Economics and Open Capital Advisors on the sidelines of the ongoing Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo 2020 taking place in Nairobi from February 18 and 20.

The Executive Director of GOGLA, Koen Peters has shared his thoughts on the recently launched report titled ‘Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2020’ in an exclusive conversation with Devdiscourse. Read more

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How long do SHS companies take to become sustainable in humanitarian settings?

How long do SHS companies take to become sustainable in humanitarian settings?

For any private company working in a humanitarian setting, financial sustainability remains one of the most pressing questions and the scenario is similar for Solar Home Systems (SHS) companies.

During a session called 'Off-grid solar in displacement and refugee situations', audience and the panel alike were asked a similar question, "For SHS companies, if you get a grant to enter a humanitarian setting, how long do you think it takes to become sustainable in these markets? How long would you need support?".

While 40 percent of the audience who voted thought that it will take more than 5 years to achieve sustainability, around 35 percent thought that SHS companies can become sustainable in 2 years.

The panel consisted of Iwona Bisaga, Research and Insights Manager, BBOXX; Mitchell Sauers, Global Commercial Director, Fenix International; Alex Evangelides, Investment Director, Finca Ventures; Victor Agandi, PayG Business Leader, Greenlight Planet. The panel debated that the answer to the question depends on a lot of things like when can the consumers repay, diversity of markets, if you can set up establishments near the consumers. According to them, it would take at least 2-3 years after the grant to even be able to answer the question.

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