Report: Solar Boosting Economic Prospects for Rural East Africans
Households using small scale-solar power in East Africa have been found to generate more income, have better health, study more and have a higher quality of life than before living with the clean, renewable energy technology. This is based on findings from ‘Powering Opportunity in East Africa: Proving Off-Grid Solar is a Power Tool for Change’, a new report released by – GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry.
The research, funded by UK aid from the UK government and conducted by Altai Consulting, is based on data collected from 1,419 small-scale solar home system owners in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda who purchased their system in the second half of 2017.
With over 30 million people now living with off-grid solar in East Africa, the research was conducted to further understand the benefits of living with this power tool of change.
As the world’s political leaders meet in New York to accelerate action on climate change and the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) including clean, affordable energy access, the report reveals that this clean technology is reducing reliance on fossil fuels and cutting CO2 emissions. Off-grid solar is also enabling a third of households to be more economically active, extending business opening hours, giving customers more time for economic activity and helping rural East Africans start new business activities.
28 per cent of households report generating an additional income of $46 a month on average, the equivalent of 14 per cent of the monthly gross national income of the households in the countries studied. Overall, the additional work undertaken thanks to off-grid solar is the equivalent of two FTE (full-time-equivalent) jobs for every ten solar home systems sold, contributing to improved income prospects and a better quality of life for the informal workforce, especially in rural areas.
Photo courtesy of Russell Watkins / DFID.