Advances in distributed technologies at the frontiers of today’s energy system can now provide power where the traditional grid is nonexistent, inadequate, or too distant for connection. Because they are modular and scalable, technologies such as PV and electricity storage promise to provide better and more resilient services which can be installed on a small scale and at rapid pace. Already, pay-as-you-go solar in Africa has gone from a standing start in 2012 to more than $200m in venture funding last year. BNEF has devoted a team to frontier power.
More broadly, we estimate that 1.4-2GW of small-scale solar were installed in emerging markets since January 2015, often in unexpected places such as Pakistan or Yemen. Mini-grid and storage providers start to follow suit. Which companies, and which approaches, will be best positioned to reap the benefits from these new opportunities?
In this webinar, Itamar Orlandi and Nat Bullard discussed the technology improvements and business models that are upending the way the next billion power consumers will come online. They also present BNEF’s focus areas for future work in our new Frontier Power research sector. For background information, read our off-grid and mini-grid market outlook here.