The dramatic drop in the price of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries, other advances in energy storage, and new business models are driving surging market demand.
The prices of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries have drastically down since the past decade and that has led to a rise in the number of off-grid solar systems by 41 percent from 2015 to 2016, as per the International Finance Corp.’s “Creating Markets for Climate Business” report.
There has been a massive rise in the investment of micro and mini grids and the global market is set to reach $200 billion by 2025. In 2015, mini-grids had accounted for about $68 million while it has grown to $223 million in 2016. Recent advances in battery and storage technologies have made micro and mini grids more dependable.
Investments in storage are expected to grow over tenfold in the next 10 years to about $23 billion in 2025. About half of that growth is expected in China, with $7 billion in India, $4 billion in South Asia, $3 billion in North Africa and the Middle East, $2.5 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa, and $2 billion in Latin America and the Caribbean.
China is going to have the lion’s share with over half of that while India is going to invest about $7 billion. The rest of South Asia would have invested about $4 billion.
Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be the highest point of growth for off-grid solutions since only 35% of households have grid connections so far. Similarly, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia are also going to grow in this regard since out of the 1.6 billion people who lack access to electricity grids, live here.