Mini-grids best for electrifying rural commodities in Nigeria, others

Experts have said that rural electrification can improve the quality of life by increasing economic activity necessary for rural economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, Vanguard reports.

According to a report by Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) “A mini-grid is an enabler of rural industrial development, through enabling productive use of electricity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).” The report also said that in the past, most national Governments in sub-Saharan Africa have prioritised the grid extension approach for rural electrification. However, progress often stayed very slow due to the remoteness of many areas and the costly investment required for grid extension and large-scale central power plant development.

According to the report, “in some cases, the rate of electrification was even lower than population growth. Mini-grids are therefore seeing a surge in interest as governments and private developers take stock of the socio-economic implications of large unelectrified rural populations, national grid extension costs and the potential for innovative public-private partnerships to deliver commercially sustainable, effective, reliable, ‘green’ power to improve rural livelihoods.