The Global Off-Grid Solar (GOGLA) Forum has brought together a number of solar energy companies, governments, development partners and investors in the Industry.
The forum, which was hosted by Kenya for the first time, was held at the Safari Park Hotel to discuss the future of off-grid solar in Africa and the rest of the world. For many years electricity has been considered the most reliable source of energy with solars being used by those who cannot access electricity.
In the event every homestead in Kenya is connected to electricity, it might be the end for off-grid solar solutions in the country. However, in the forum, the industry stakeholders discussed how off-grid solar solutions will help to accelerate progress towards universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy by 2030.
More than 1,250 participants from 75 countries who attended the forum called for more collaboration and investments to provide sustainable energy for the 840 million people currently living without electricity and an estimated 1 billion people who live with weak grid connections.
When opening the forum, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government’s off-grid solar access initiative, the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), which is carried out with support from the World Bank, seeks to provide energy to underserved households and more than 800 public facilities, including schools and health centers, in 14 counties.
“To achieve our electrification programme through off-grid solutions, my administration recognizes the importance of partnering with the private sector”, the President noted.
GOGLA’s Executive Director Koen Peters acknowledged the president’s effort to adopt the right policies to scale the off-grid market.
“It was a privilege to listen to President Kenyatta’s inspiring speech, encouraging other countries to follow Kenya’s lead in adopting the right policies to scale the off-grid solar market. The massive turnout of this year’s Forum is a testament to the impressive growth of the sector. The new partnerships and deals forged this week will help the industry reach millions of additional households,” Peters said.
Over 85 exhibitors showcased their products and services at the event, highlighting off-grid solar as a powerful tool to reduce CO2 emissions, improve health and education, create jobs and income opportunities, helping consumers save money and improving their quality of life.
The conference dialogue was built around the findings of the 2020 Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report1, released at the outset of the meeting. A joint Lighting Global-GOGLA initiative, the report finds that the industry has grown to a USD 1.75 billion market, currently serving 420 million customers.
One of the lead authors of the report, Rusell Sturm, said that entrepreneurial innovations has driven the off-grid solar industry to the accomplishments it has made.
“With 12 years of experience supporting the market’s rapid ascent, our Lighting Global team will continue working toward the growth of the off-grid solar industry, as we mobilize the commercial finance critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030,” he said.