Solar Power Could Provide Energy For The World’s Most Vulnerable. Here Are 5 Ways To Pay For It

on November 6, 2020

It’s hard to overstate the challenges facing the 600 million people in Africa who lack access to electricity—including over 20 million who have been forcibly displaced. Without light sources, for instance, schoolwork is limited to daylight hours, hampering educational achievement. When small home businesses cannot operate after dark, it drastically curtails their income potential.

For displaced people, these limitations come on top of a variety of other hardships, from property loss to physical violence and persecution. In short, access to energy is a vital economic lifeline. And based on our research, it could be provided—both sustainably and cheaply—through solar power.

Africa’s energy challenge

In many Sub-Saharan African countries, the majority of citizens lack access to electricity. These same countries also host sizeable displaced populations, making it tough to start working towards achieving Goal 7 (access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030) of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, SDGs in other areas such as education, increased income, health care, innovation, and economic growth also depend on access to energy.

The arguments for scaling up access to solar power are compelling. First, solar is increasingly affordable (costs have fallen five times in the past decade) and more viable for poor communities than the current alternative: unhealthy and polluting diesel generators, which are expensive to operate and add to carbon emissions.

In BCG’s collaboration with NORCAP, a global provider of expertise to the humanitarian, development, and peace-building sectors, we identified a suite of solar solutions that can work for vulnerable and displaced communities. These range from replacing fossil-based generators with solar power to enhancing mini-grid systems in displaced and host communities for households, services, and industry.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSolar Power Could Provide Energy For The World’s Most Vulnerable. Here Are 5 Ways To Pay For It