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Africa Needs Off-Grid Support to Avoid 30 Million Losing Access

  • Local supply chains recommended by University of Oxford study
  • 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa risk losing power
To meet a United Nations goal of universal electricity access by 2030, further progress is needed not only in grid link-ups, but in off-grid systems using sources such as solar energy.

To meet a United Nations goal of universal electricity access by 2030, further progress is needed not only in grid link-ups, but in off-grid systems using sources such as solar energy.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Off-grid power development in Africa needs support to prevent at least 30 million people from losing electricity access after disruptions related to the global pandemic caused many distributors to struggle to remain operational, according to a new report.

Solar technology and other off-grid solutions have brought power to about 60 million people over the last decade, but restrictions designed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 slowed providers down, causing funding shortages and delays, researchers at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford wrote in a policy brief.