Customer Agreement Considerations for Micro-Grids in Sub-Saharan Africa
Great strides have been made in electrification over the last two decades, however, an estimated 1.1 billion people—roughly 600 million of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa—still lack access to modern electricity services (IEA 2017). Most electrification gains have been achieved through connection to the main grid. But to reach the next billion people, off-grid solutions will be increasingly necessary—particularly in more remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, where grid extension is prohibitively expensive.
This report discusses one dimension of building bankable micro-grid investments: the customer agreement between the developer and the customers the micro-grid will serve. This article draws on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) experience developing and implementing the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF), which seeks to address barriers to providing reliable and affordable power to remote communities through micro-grid deployment. This report is part of a series of articles developed to support implementation of the QAF, along with related developer and country-level technical assistance.