VIENNA, 17 March 2021 – A mini-grid is a set of small-scale electricity generators interconnected to a distribution network that supplies electricity to a small, localized group of customers and operates independently from the national transmission grid. Mini-grids are a critical tool for achieving universal electricity access.
The new Clean Energy Mini-Grid Policy Development Guide aims to help policymakers navigate the renewable mini-grid market, providing them with tools and recommendations on how to approach policies and regulations in this space. The guide outlines the various forms and models that public-private cooperation could take and reflects on the outcomes of policy decisions on mini-grid deployment.
Based on key lessons learnt from existing mini-grid policies and regulations, the publication also presents a decision tree designed for policymakers to guide them through the decision-making process.
The Clean Energy Mini-Grid Policy Development Guide is published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), along with partners, the Alliance for Rural Electrification; the African Development Bank; the Green MiniGrid Help Desk; the Africa Minigrid Developers Association and INENSUS. It has been launched at the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum taking place from 17-19 March, 2021.
The guide draws five main conclusions:
- Sustainable mini-grid business models require scale.
- The way in which mini-grids are deployed, including the degree of private sector involvement, depends on decisions taken by governments.
- Close government control over mini-grid deployment, minimum financial subsidies and low end consumer tariffs cannot all be achieved at the same time.
- The development of electricity demand in rural areas is difficult to predict, making it important to introduce demand risk mitigation instruments in the policy framework.
- The risk of a sudden end to the project, i.e. the termination risk, should be considered by policymakers and regulators.
To access the guide, please go to:
Please go to the Green Mini-Grid Help Desk for policy and contract templates.
For more information, contact:
Rana Ghoneim, Chief, Energy Systems and Infrastructure Division, UNIDO.