The East African region has some of the most active commercial photovoltaic (PV) system markets in the developing world. An increasing part of the countries’ population is turning to solar home system solutions for electricity supply – especially in rural off-grid areas.
Highly energy-efficient appliances that can be connected to these solar home systems (SHS) dramatically increase the level of energy services provided by SHSs, while reducing the size of the energy system required to provide these services, thereby lowering costs The challenge, however, is that many off-grid solar companies struggle to identify and source quality off-grid appliances. Many appliance manufacturers do not know about the commercial opportunity presented by the off-grid market—and those that are aware often struggle to find clear and timely paths to market.
This results-based financing (RBF) project aims at accelerating the uptake of off-grid solar technologies, i.e. solar home systems, through the development of a complementary market for high-quality, highly energy-efficient off-grid appliances such as fans, televisions and refrigerators. To accomplish this goal, the project pursues the following approach focusing on four key components:
- Identification of best-in-class off-grid appliances through the Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards competitions;
- RBF incentives to encourage off-grid solar companies to place large orders of selected appliances and market them to their customers;
- Market development activities to support the growth of the market;
- Monitoring and evaluation activities to validate RBF payments and track impacts.
CLASP supports the development of the off-grid appliance market in Bangladesh and East Africa. The project is providing financial incentives to appliance manufacturers and off-grid solar companies that partner to distribute large quantities of winning and finalist products from the Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards in target markets. The incentives window for high-quality, energy-efficient off-grid refrigerators sold in Bangladesh, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda opened on January 22, 2018. More information on the products eligible, incentives available as well as the terms and conditions for this call are now available online.
In February 2016, the first round of incentives was launched in Bangladesh, where the project works closely with the national organisation IDCOL. Eligibility for participation in the first tender was limited to companies that are part of IDCOL’s SHS consumer financing programme and that procured Winning or Finalist products from the 2014 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Television Competition. This first round led to procurement of 12,000 quality-assured off-grid televisions by Bangladeshi companies and are now being sold to end customers.
Activities will expand to East Africa in 2017. The US initiative Power Africa made a commitment of USD 1.5 million to support the expansion of the project to East Africa.