Distributed Models for Grid Extension Could Save African Utilities Billions of Dollars

Where it’s beneficial, state utilities in sub-Saharan Africa can leverage distributed private-sector business models to extend the grid to areas without electricity access or make critical upgrades — without going further into debt.

In the industrialized world, public electric utilities in regulated markets are tasked with a universal service mandate, an obligation to extend and maintain service to all customers in their service territory.

In contrast (with a few notable exceptions), their sub-Saharan African counterparts are either unregulated, are not necessarily obligated to provide universal service, have such serious cost-recovery issues that they cannot fulfill the obligation, or face unenforced or unfunded mandates to maintain and extend service to new customers.

Power for All’s…

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