The off-grid solar market is witnessing a remarkable surge in sales of solar energy kits, as revealed in a new market report released by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), in partnership with the World Bank’s Lighting Global program, and the Efficiency for Access Coalition.
GOGLA affiliates sold 9.5 million solar energy kits in 2022. Every six months, GOGLA, the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program and the Efficiency for Access Coalition publish the Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report, a market intelligence series on sales and impact of off-grid solar lighting products and appliances, sold by GOGLA affiliates.
The July – December 2022 Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report reveals record-breaking sales of solar energy kits, reflecting a growing demand for decentralised energy solutions. About 5.2 million solar energy kits were sold in the second half of 2022, a 20% increase from the first half of the year and 18% higher than the previous peak in the second half of 2019.
Remarkable sales in Sub-Saharan Africa
The report identifies several regions that have witnessed substantial off-grid solar market growth. Sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as a significant market, with countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania leading the way in adopting off-grid solar solutions. The report notes that the availability of affordable, high-quality solar products, coupled with favorable policy frameworks, has contributed to the remarkable growth in these regions
Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) sales grew by 33% to exceed 2 million units for the first time, and Solar home systems (SHS) recorded a 68% growth in sales, the highest of all product categories, led by numbers in Nigeria.
“It’s encouraging to see the growth in off-grid solar sales finally recover after COVID. This clearly demonstrates the importance that people in unelectrified communities place on having access to clean, safe and modern energy services. Now it’s time to get behind the sector if we want to keep the pace needed to reach the SDG7 goal of electricity for all by 2030,” said Patrick Tonui, Head of Policy and Regional Strategy at GOGLA.
Global refrigeration units sales grew by 68%, after low sales volumes in the previous two semi-annual rounds of reporting. Solar water pump sales grew 63%, with growth concentrated in Kenya and Nigeria. A drop was seen in the sale of fans when compared to the first half of 2022. However, this is consistent with seasonal sales fluctuations seen each year.
“The growth in sales of productive-use appliances, such as solar water pumps and refrigerator units, is especially encouraging, as we know these appliances can have the greatest impact on livelihoods and quality of life. Now is the time for stakeholders to think carefully about how to design interventions so that no one is left behind,” said Emilie Carmichael, Head of International at Energy Saving Trust.
“Development partners and donors must coordinate their efforts and forge strong partnerships to enable the poorest and most remote off-grid customers to access these appliances, and the benefits that come with them,” Carmichael concludes.
One of the key factors driving this growth is the increasing awareness of the environmental and socioeconomic benefits associated with off-grid solar solutions. As governments and organisations strive to achieve their sustainable development goals, the demand for reliable, off-grid energy solutions has risen exponentially. Off-grid solar products, such as solar home systems and solar lanterns, are helping to bridge the energy access gap, particularly in rural and remote areas.
The report highlights that over 104 million people globally now have access to electricity through off-grid solar energy kits. This achievement represents a substantial milestone in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030.