Following up from my last post. Other areas of interest at the World Bank’s Energy Week conference included rural electrification. Grid connection is notoriously poor throughout Africa. Tanzania, for example, is around 22% depending on whom you talk to. In addition, just because a community has a grid penetration, it doesn’t mean everyone in that community has power at their house. Connections are expensive. The waiting list for the utility to make the connection is long.
Often time people take it upon themselves to make their own connection. Even if they do have power, it might not be reliable. Kenyan Power and Lighting Company is estimated to have around 11,000 outages per month. The other option for people to address lack of (or unreliable) grid connection is to support it with solar PV or fuel based generators. These two technologies support communities, can add capacity to the grid (if connected), and provide a potentially cheaper way to provide power to end-users (factoring in the implied costs associated with transmission) .