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New Report Expects Off-grid Solar To Become A USD 3.1 Billion Market Opportunity For The Solar Industry By 2020

Shenzhen Shine Solar Co.,Ltd | Updated: Mar 07, 2016

A new report tracks the groundbreaking technological advances and innovative business models which have emerged to transform the lives of millions through affordable modern solar photovoltaic (PV) energy services.

According to the Off-grid solar market trends report 2016, annual investments into the off-grid solar sector have risen fifteen-fold since 2012 to USD 276 million in 2015. The report expects off-grid solar to become a USD 3.1 billion market opportunity for the solar industry by 2020, reaching 99 million households.


Solar offers a better service at lower cost for 1.2 billion people living without access to the power grid

1.2 billion people living without access to the power grid spend about USD 27 billion annually on lighting and mobile-phone charging with kerosene, candles, battery torches or other fossil-fuel powered stopgap technologies. Solar powered portable lights and home kits offer a better service at lower cost, finds the report.

According to the analysis, the off-grid solar sector has seen impressive growth in the past five years. More than 100 companies are now actively focusing on stand-alone solar lanterns and solar photovoltaic (PV) home system kits targeted at those without modern energy access. By mid-2015 they had sold 20 million branded “pico” solar products (defined as having a PV panel smaller than 10 W), mainly portable lights.

Off-grid solar is highly effective for enabling access to basic electricity services. These products improve energy access for an estimated 89 million people in Africa and Asia and provide enough power to lift 21 million individuals to the first rung of the energy ladder.

While off-grid solar has still barely scratched the surface of its potential globally, it is no longer a niche product in the countries that have seen the most concentrated sales efforts. In Kenya, more than 30 percent of people living off the grid have a solar product at home, according to estimates. The pioneers have helped to create a vibrant market.

The report is the third in a series produced by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program since the young industry’s emergence seven years ago. Written in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), and in cooperation with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, the report provides a comprehensive view of the state of one of the most impactful sectors in the global economy today.

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