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Off-Grid Electrification: USD 136 billion market potential (OBIN World)

Stiftung Solarenergie – Solar Energy Foundation has analyzed overall 66 countries for the Off-Grid Business Indicator (OBIN) regarding their potential for off-grid business. Detailed information for each country is given in the three editions, published in March 2014:



The edition "OBIN World" summarizes the results of the three single editions to one global perspective. The main findings are:


  1. 1.2 billion people in the surveyed 66 countries do not have access to reliable power supply, with 49% living respectively  in Africa and Asia and 2% in America.
    The surveyed countries in Asia (70.7%) and America (75.9%) are considerably higher electrified than those in Africa (21.8%).
    Due to the larger population, the absolute number of people without access to power supply in African countries is however almost the same as in Asia (Africa 598.7 mill.; Asia 593.0 mill.).

  2. The worldwide market potential alone for the replacement of kerosene lamps by simple solar lanterns is USD 18.8 billion.
    The total market potential for the basic supply of off-grid households with light is USD 136 billion.
    The potential of the off-grid market in Africa and Asia is almost equal (Africa USD 68.6 billion; Asia USD 64.85 billion), although Africa attracts a significant greater attention in the public perception.

  3. The world’s top five off-grid markets are India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Indonesia, followed by DR Congo, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

  4. The Business Environment in 40% of African countries and 31% of Asian countries is below average or even unacceptable.

  5. The most problematic factor for business in Africa is the "access to finance", closely followed by "corruption". The ratio in Asia and America is different: "corruption" is here the most problematic factor for business while "access to finance" is ranked on third position.


Download full study here.


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Comment by Jose Antonio Bueso on April 9, 2014

The only way to avoid the corruption and other problems is the privatization of the sector.