Electrification Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa And Possible Solutions

An insightful article on how a team from Rocky Mountain Institute is working in sub-Saharan Africa to address barriers to sustainable electricity access.


  • Grid electricity can be costly


  • Deploying aggressive, utility-led energy efficiency programs
  • Investing in solar-plus-diesel hybrid systems to replace the pure diesel rental systems currently on the grid
  • Prioritizing investment in transmission and distribution loss reduction and congestion reduction


  • Off-grid market growth is slow


  • Addresses any affordability gap between off-grid products and the citizens who need them through financing or subsidy
  • Increases awareness of off-grid products and their use in areas of the country that will not be connected to the grid in the next five years by establishing a clear off-grid plan for the country and a national off-grid awareness campaign to educate consumers
  • Develops consistent and supportive policies for quality products, incentives, and imports
  • Supports scaling enablers, such as capital deployment and workforce training, by setting up effective debt facilities and education programs


  • Energy planning is incomplete and uncoordinated


  • Developing an on-grid integrated resource plan to harness new, lower-risk, and lower-cost technologies that also considers off-grid opportunities
  • Driving a coordinated off-grid program with clear roles and responsibilities for all players, including substantial and continuous involvement of the private sector
  • Avoiding distraction from new support that does not clearly fit into the plan

You should go read the whole article here.

Author: Venkata Gandikota

Venkata has more than 13 years of technical engineering, research, ideation, strategy and business modeling experience. Based on his experience with the Indian market and realizing also the need for affordable & sustainable solutions for Finland and other European markets, he started The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society in late 2013 with 2 colleagues. By organizing ideation workshops and 2 major conferences involving Cities, Universities, and businesses he started to mainstream the concept in Finland and the Nordics. Gandikota has also written several articles focusing on frugal innovations in the Finnish media. He has also been helping Finnish businesses in India as CEO of Indianeer Consulting and gives guest lectures at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.