Last Updated:
20 May 2019

From the Bottom Up

How small power producers and mini-grids can deliver electrification and renewable energy in Africa Author: Bernard Tenenbaum, Chris Greacen, Tilak Siyambalapitiya and James Knuckles

Most Sub-Saharan African countries try to promote rural electrification through both centralized and decentralized approaches. Focusing on the decentralized approach, this guide: provides practical guidance on how small power producers and mini-grid operators can deliver both electrification and renewable energy in rural areas; examines ground-level regulatory and policy questions that must be answered to achieve commercially sustainable investments; discusses design and implementation of feed-in tariffs for small power producers in developing country contexts with a view towards their expanded use in sub-Saharan Africa and addresses two often ignored questions: what to do "when the big grid connects to the little grid" and how to practice light-handed regulation.

The implementation issues are presented with specific ground-level options and recommendations rather than just general pronouncements. To make the discussion more concrete for practitioners, the guide provides numerous real-world examples of successful and unsuccessful regulatory and policy actions taken in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania, as well as Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. 




Knowledge Lab
Knowledge Lab