Two hypotheses are natural starting points to address the question around pockets of growth. Firstly, off-grid will be attractive where there is strong demand for electricity. If off-grid electricity responds to energy poverty, then it can be expected that countries with lower electrification rates will be fertile grounds for these technologies. A second explanation could be wealth. Demand might be strong in countries with scarce electricity, but these tend to be also very poor and perhaps cannot afford new technologies. Thus, perhaps wealthier countries could be first adopters of decentralised systems.

The figure below compares off-grid deployment to GDP per capita. What is striking is that off-grid seems to be most successful among middle-income countries. And this growth makes sense because wealthy countries generally have less of a need for off-grid power. While poor countries cannot afford it, it’s countries in the middle-range that both need and can invest in off-grid deployment.

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