A4 Conference proceedings

An innovative business model for rural sub-Saharan Africa electrification

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Vanadzina Evgenia, Pinomaa Antti, Honkapuro Samuli, Mendes Gonçalo
Publisher: Elsevier: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives License
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Energy Procedia
Title of parent publication: Renewable Energy Integration with Mini/Microgrids, REM 2018
Volume number: 159
Start page: 364
End page: 369
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 1876-6102
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access publication


Despite a significant progress
in electrification over the last decade, more than 1 billion people have no
access to electricity, and about 3 billion use solid fuel or kerosene for
cooking and heating purposes. More than 95 % of them live in sub-Saharan Africa
or developing Asia, and around 80 % are situated in rural areas. Conventional
approach to power supply such as transmission grid extension is not economical
due to high investment and connection costs. Technological progress has shifted
down capital costs of renewable off-grid solutions. However, in the most cases,
it is not enough to reach feasibility of these solutions due to weak investment
conditions and weak purchasing power of the local population in these areas.
The choice of business model can have a vital role in bringing electrification and
connectivity to rural areas, providing flexibility and adaptability of the
technology to the market conditions. Analysis of existing literature on
business models for off-grid solutions concludes that the model for rural areas
in developing countries should be more service oriented, be scalable to various
use case scenarios, should provide good risk balance between customer and
provider, and should enable transparency and quality of service. This paper
analyses recent developments in off-grid system solutions for sub-Saharan Africa and provides classification of business
model innovations. Based on the analysis, the paper proposes an innovative
business model for Fusion Grid project, scalable mini-grid integrated with
connectivity solution. Feasibility of the project is tested for three different
cases, depending on the type of the rural community. Results suggests that combining
micro-grid based power supply and internet connection as one service can
contribute to a viability of the project, and, furthermore, can contribute to
achieving global electrification goal.

Last updated on 2020-20-03 at 10:03