$15 Billion and growing
The off-grid, rural power market is larger than its on-grid cousin. Over sixty five -per cent of the sub-Saharan African population live beyond the economic reach of the grid, representing a market of 480 million people or about 100 million households, growing at 2.3% per annum, (2.3 million new off-grid rural households per annum), all of whom are seeking a consistent and reliable energy service. On average, these households spend over $3 per week on kerosene, candles and dry cell batteries for lighting and on paying others to charge their mobile phone, giving a level of affordability for off-grid rural power services. We thus estimate the domestic market size to be over $15 billion per annum.
Estimates of the off-grid, rural business power services market are much harder to come by, but Africa Power estimates this market to be 6-10 times the size of the domestic market at over $100 billion per annum and with a greater potential for growth resulting from its ability to stimulate local economic wealth. This excludes the conversion of off-grid cell phone towers from diesel to solar or other renewable power sources adding a further $100bn market, targeted by Africa Power. Finally community facilities such as schools; health clinics; night market lighting and the like probably constitute a further $25bn per annum market.