In People and Dollars, Energy Access Is Growing by Billions

Source: Next Billion

Previously ignored off-grid populations are quickly becoming a fundamental piece of the energy transition puzzle. There are several reasons for this significant shift. As energy access markets evolve and scale, off-grid energy provision will have increasingly significant impacts on power demand, grid extension and modernization investments, the siting of new generation sources, and future carbon emissions reduction pathways. Off-grid energy technologies and business models are also, in many ways, on the cutting edge of low-cost solar technology, advanced metering and remote demand-side management, energy efficiency and other trends shaping advanced electricity markets.

2018 was a banner year for energy access investing. According to new data from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, the sector saw deployments of over $511M USD equivalent across all types of corporate-level investment and relevant off-grid technologies, the highest annual total ever.

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