The off-grid solar market continues to grow rapidly, and during the second half of 2015, over 4 million off-grid branded and quality verified solar-powered devices were sold—totaling more than US$110 million in revenue. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for nearly 95% of sales. In Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda saw the strongest uptake with Rwanda, Zambia and Nigeria continuing to gain traction. In South Asia, India represented more than 90% of sales—nearly 1.5 million products—equivalent to the number of products sold in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda combined. Over the last 3 years, 27 million people have benefited from such products worldwide, and a full analysis of the social impact results of these sales will follow soon.
All this and much more can be found in a new report produced by The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and IFC Lighting Global in response to increasing demand from investors, manufacturers, distributors and other players in the off-grid solar industry. The Global Solar Off-Grid Semi-Annual Market Report, covering July to December 2015, is the first in a series of six-month market updates that supplement the broader biennial Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report released earlier this year. Together, they provide the most comprehensive source of insight into the real-time dynamics and trends of the off-grid solar market.
The key to understanding the development of this fast-growing market is quality, nuanced data. This new report reveals semi-annual product sales data, allowing for a systematic identification of key trends, analytical insights and other valuable market intelligence for the sector. In addition, and for the first time, data on revenues is included, providing for a more complete picture of pico-PV products and solar home systems during this period.
There are 1.2 billion people worldwide without access to the power grid, and together, they spend about US$27 billion each year on lighting and mobile phone charging with kerosene, candles, battery torches or other fossil fuel-powered technologies. Solar-powered portable lights and home kits offer a better, cleaner service at a lower cost.
Moving forward, this new and ongoing market intelligence not only helps industry members and financiers to make informed decisions, but it also strengthens the case for the developmental impact made by the sector—critically important for governments, investors and donor agencies.