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Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit

Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit

State 

completed

Date 

1 December, 2012 to 1 September, 2014

Summary

This type of activity was part of the RECP start-up phase and is now being offered under the Service Line SEADS.

The challenge of providing energy to 100’s of millions of rural people in Africa has taken a significant step forward with the development of a new easy to adopt mini-grid guidelines for countries and administrations on the continent.

The Mini-Grid Toolkit is a manual focused on providing local electricity supply which can be powered through a variety of sources, including available fuels and renewables such as solar panels. The Toolkit is designed to facilitate roll-out of mini-grids which meet the requirements of remote communities – transforming their lives with access to regular, safe and affordable power.

Over 30% of the world’s rural population, currently without access to electricity, are best served by extensions of the main power grids. The remaining 70% are often better served through the creation of mini-grids, which have emerged in recent years as a “game changer” for providing rapid, cost effective and high quality electrification in rural Africa. Renewable and hybrid mini-grids are easily installed, flexible and can, in time, be connected to main power grids if and when such networks expand.

EUEI PDF, executing the RECP, undertook a project to develop and disseminate a "Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit" with REN21 and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). The Toolkit targets policy-level decision-makers and senior technical staff in developing countries and supports them in shaping up the policy and regulatory framework for rural electrification through renewable energy or hybrid mini-grids.

An absence of consistent policy frameworks, regulatory environment and appropriate business models across much of the continent limited the scaling up of mini-grids beyond pilot projects. Apart from a number of countries such as Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania, mini-grids have not been rolled out in the volume necessary to assist countries in delivering economic benefits, better education and health services for its citizens.

The Toolkit is designed to be accessible and easily implemented by both public sector decision makers and private interests willing to become involved in energy rollout. The Toolkit will also underpin vital private and business sector involvement thanks to providing legal and regulatory frameworks for investors while at the same time protecting consumer rights and the interests of wider society.

The publication in English and French was complemented by two workshops in Tanzania and Benin as well as an online portal. The portal offers different support tools for cash-flow, feed-in tariff and retail tariff calculations as well as templates for Power Purchase Agreements and generation licenses, which can be downloaded together with an explanation for their usage.

Baba Moussa Aboubakari, Director of Infrastructure & Energy at the African Union Commission said: “The Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit provides much-needed orientation and guidance for policymakers and assists in shaping the policies needed to effectively promote mini-grid deployment.”

Matthew Matimbwi, Engineer at the Tanzania Renewable Energy Association said: “In 2014, the Rural Energy Agency in Tanzania has already granted funds to 20 private renewable energy mini-grid projects. The Toolkit will help us very much in our work!

For more information visit the Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit Website!