Off-grid solar products have been revolutionizing the quality of life in Africa, especially in areas where energy access remains a challenge.
Consumers are saving over £ 2.6 billion from savings on lighting and phone charging costs compared to traditional energy sources. The broader benefits to society from better education, health, employment opportunities and environment are multi-fold. Therefore, many African governments, international agencies and private companies see off-grid solar as an opportunity to not only provide quick and affordable energy access, but also to meet broader sustainable development goals.
The most promising off-grid lighting devices are Solar Portable Lights and off-grid Solar Home Systems
The overall economic impact for off-grid solar products is expected to be in the range of £7.8m to £9.4m in 2017, varying from approximately 0.1 to 2.5% of product price. This estimate considers expected volumes across Africa and the potential collection and recycling costs. Due to rapid sector growth, the estimated volumes are expected to pass 10,000t by 2020. This report makes the case for developing the end-of-life management of off-grid solar products without delay.
Magalini, F.; Sinha-Khetriwal, D.; Rochat, D.; Huismann, J.; Munyambu, S.; Oliech, J.; Nnorom, I.C.; Mbera, O. Electronic waste (e-waste) impacts and mitigation options in the off-grid renewable energy sector. Evidence on Demand, UK (2016) ii, 62p