Every six months, GOGLA and The World Bank Group's Lighting Global program publish the Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report, a market intelligence series on sales and impact of off-grid solar lighting products, sold by GOGLA and Lighting Global affiliates. Since H2 2018, the report also includes sales numbers of off-grid appliances, in partnership with the Efficiency for Access Coalition.
- The off-grid industry is showing early signs of a slow but uneven recovery from the economic shock triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, targeted support remains critical for safeguarding the industry and its vital contribution to energy access and other development goals.
- Data from July - December 2020 reveals that off-grid solar lighting sales grew by 19% compared to the first half of the year, totaling 3.6 million products sold. Yet sales are still at the lowest level since 2015 and progress is far from the rate needed to achieve universal electrification targets by 2030.
- Looking at 2020 as a whole, the drop in sales due to the impacts of COVID-19 resulted in an estimated 10 - 15 million people and 300,000 - 450,000 enterprises missing out on improved energy access.
- Appliance sales, meanwhile, plateaued at 470,000, with numbers remaining stable compared to July – December 2019 but failing to reach the levels of growth anticipated before the global health and economic crisis.
- Exploring the two largest regional markets: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), sales of lighting products in the second half of 2020 were only 4% below the levels seen in the second half of 2019, but regionally and nationally there was significant diversity. In contrast to the more positive overall picture in SSA, sales of off-grid lighting in South Asia remained 43% lower than those seen in the second half of 2019. Sales of appliances meanwhile dipped in SSA, but grew by 29% in South Asia.
- Nationally there is diversity in the ways the pandemic and other key dynamics have affected off-grid markets. A link between positive actions and more resilient sales and impact is observed. For example, signs of recovery are more commonly seen in markets where there has been strong government support for the sector or programmatic/investor interventions.
- Policymakers, development partners and investors must build from these lessons and develop targeted approaches to support the industry to meet energy access targets and play its part in driving a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Would you like to find out more? Watch the key findings webinar to hear more about the data from the content team.