About the Summit

Unleashing the Commercial Potential of Mini Grids in Africa

Globally, 1.4 billion people do not have access to electricity with 85% of the off-grid population in Africa living without electricity access. Sub-Saharan Africa off-grid population is forecasted to rise from 600 million to 698 million people in 2030. IEA estimates that in order to achieve universal electricity access, mini grids will have to provide more than 40% of the new capacity needed by 2030 with the market potential for mini-grids to be US$4 billion per year. The pressing need for off-grid electrification coupled with the rising costs of using expensive, polluting fossil fuel solutions such as diesel generators, calls for successful ground level implementation of renewable and hybrid mini grids in the region and are high on the agenda for most countries

Mini grids have been promoted actively in Africa and industries such as mining and agriculture have shown unprecedented interest with projects being implemented to cut operating costs and improve efficiency.

Many positive factors are supporting mini-grids development in Africa. There is a tremendously large market with many resources and potential ideal sites throughout the region conducive for established RE-technologies like solar and hydro projects to be developed. The costs of utilizing these technologies are also decreasing, as in the case for solar; the usage cost has reduced significantly from $250 per 30 watts to $150. Authorities in the region, for example in Tanzania where the REA have 90+ projects in the pipeline, are rapidly setting the landscape to attract more sustainable investments into this sector. In addition, there is also an increasing depth of development and implementation experience to inspire similar success stories currently found in Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Cape Verde amongst other countries. Significant public sector funding and grants are also available through national governments and international donors. Public-private partnerships are also actively promoted to kick start projects.

Africa Mini Grids Summit will therefore convene key decision and policy makers along with the power players in the mini grids sector to share their invaluable expertise and experience to help you effectively strategize your mini grid blueprints. Be treated to a first class event where pressing issues and solutions are brought to the fore and extraordinary networking opportunities are abundant.

Africa Mini Grids Snapshots:

Kenya - Rural Electrification Master Plan identified 33 new sites to be established as mini grids with Bill in parliament to open way for private distributors in mini grids. Currently 15 mini grids operated by KPLC with 1 connected to the grid and 10 more currently being developed. 7 have been made hybrid with 2 plants utilising wind and another 6 using solar. There are also private mini grids operated by rural communities.
Tanzania - REA have 90+ projects in the pipeline and the country has the most advanced policy and regulatory framework for small power projects supplying both the main grid and off grid mini grids in the SADC region. 5 small IPPs (2-5 MW) connected to the main grid. TANESCO running 21 diesel based off grid stations supplying isolated mini-grids with capacities ranging from 400KW to 12 MW. 13 sites proposed for hydro mini grids.
Malawi - 2 diesel mini-grids by ESCOM and a few hydro-based mini grids run by private developers or communities. 6 hybrid solar/wind mini-grids (20-24 kW) operated by communities
Rwanda - MININFRA is planning to privatise all publicly funded micro-hydropower plants. 3 private micro-hydro plants are operational (1 mW combined) with 6 more projects currently being planned. Rwanda will be privatizing 20+ public micro hydroplants. Feed in tariffs, partial regulatory framework and basic financial instruments are in place.
Mozambique - 69 diesel mini grids implemented by FUNAE but managed by local management communities. Many stopped operating due to lack of funds for maintenance. Hydro most promising renewable source with 53 identified SHP potential sites with 15 SHP projects under construction or planned by the government. GIZ has implemented 7 micro hydro plants. 3 solar hybrid mini grids by FUNAE(Korean loan) with few smaller solar mini grids by donors and NGOs without FUNAE involvement. One 300 kW wind turbine installed but not connected to grid as there is no tariff.
Uganda - 3 diesel based mini grid, 2 micro-hydro mini grid and 1 hybrid mini grids run by the Government. MHP feasibility studies started in 2013 under ORIO financing with objectives to construct 10 mini hydro power stations
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Highest hydro potential in Africa. 42 diesel based power plants where 27 are isolated supplying mini grids (39MW) run by both public entities and private IPPs and 4 hydro-based mini grids. Planned electrification projects include 347 centres over 20 years, 3 years action plan to have 11 micro-hydro schemes.
Nigeria - Mini grids in isolated sites and IPP for grid injection operated by oil companies in the South have shown sustainability .Longest most successful project is the hydro mini grid operated by NESCO in Jos region .A green mini grid project using biomass and mini hydro has been identified with UNIDO/GEF.
Mali - Tariffs of EDM national grid are uniform but tariffs of mini-grids by private operators can be adapted to recover operation cost. Most private run mini grids are fuel based and thus have increasing operating costs. EDF has programs implementing mini grids for villages.
Zambia - Planning 3 mini-grid projects after implementing mini grid projects using both hydro and solar.
Senegal - One of the most active countries to implement hybrid technology with 9 hybrid power plants in remote areas with collaboration from Isofoton from Spain. A GIZ and DGIS program has implemented 16 hybrid power plants (5kWp PV, 11kVa diesel) and has plans to add 50 more. ERSEN project aims to electrify 256 villages with solar-diesel hybrid preferred. Recently Inensus is operating a purely private rural electrification project in Senegal with initial support through GIZ under a PPP.

Why you must not miss this conference?

Africa Mini Grids Summit is the only authoritative Mini-Grids focused event in region bringing together public & private stakeholders
Probe the exciting opportunities present in Africa's mini-grids market & private sector participation
Hear from policy makers & government officials the plans and targets for a coherent & favourable operating environment
Meet with key stakeholders and decision makers involved in the revolution of Africa's electricity supply
Find out how you can benefit from the incentives for investment
Evaluate the business case for mini-grids implementation and the latest technological applications relevant to your business
Address the complexities involved with mini-grids investments and how you can manage the risks & optimise ROI
Learn more about the available financing options and the makings of a bankable mini-grids project
Adopt best practice strategies and technical know-how from successful projects in the region

Who will be attending the conference?

•      Investors (Private Equity/Debt) •      Development Aid Agencies
•      Investment Managers •      Research Institutes
•      Independent Power Producers •      Technology Providers
•      Power Utilities •      RE Developers ( Solar, Hydro, Wind & Biogas)
•      Municipalities •      EPC Contractors
•      Government & Regulators (Ministry of Energy/ Finance/Industry) •      Storage solutions
•      International Financial Institutions •      Consultants
•      Financiers •      Legal Firms

Snapshots of Past Attendees

We invite you to join us at Africa Mini Grids Summit 2014 -
the only authoritative platform to meet relevant industry stakeholders, probe and evaluate latest business case for mini grids in the commercial sectors