Reliable electricity access is essential for health and prosperity. Yet, this indispensable service remains out of reach for about 759 million people globally, 600 million of whom are in Africa. Mini-grid systems can efficiently deliver energy to cities and rural areas outside the limits of a national grid. Powered primarily by renewable sources, mini-grids offer an effective way to provide low-cost, reliable, and clean energy to communities that are out of reach of existing power grids. Mini-grids are practical, reliable, and poised to grow. By 2030, nearly half a billion people around the world could be using electricity from mini-grids.
Scaling Mini-Grid (SMG), a new World Bank Group initiative, seeks to increase private investment in mini-grid services by working with governments, private sector investors and donors to find solutions to the remaining challenges in the sector. In many of the emerging market economies where mini-grids would be most effective, appropriate regulatory frameworks are limited and the market is fragmented. The lack of stable public-private partnership (PPP) frameworks, as well as limited institutional capacities, can make it hard to plan and develop bankable projects. Combined with demand, currency and political risks, these factors translate into high perceived investment risks. Under the Scaling Mini-Grid program, members of the World Bank Group seek to overcome these challenges by offering financing and advisory support as well as investment and risk mitigation instruments for governments and the private sector. The Scaling Mini-Grid program helps clients ensure timely completion of projects which can expand access to clean, and affordable electricity services.
The World Bank Group Scaling Mini-Grid (SMG) templates are being made available to sector stakeholders for their use in an effort to contribute to the development of the clean mini-grid market and energy access globally. These have been developed by the International Finance Corporation in close coordination with the World Bank and the Multilateral International Guarantee Agency. They also have benefitted from extensive market consultations and reviews from donors, financiers and developers.
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IFC Launches Work on Scaling Mini-Grid Program to Increase Clean Electricity Access in the DRC
Press Release | March 18, 2022
IFC has begun work with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to bring clean, solar energy to over 1.5 million homes, businesses, schools, and clinics in the country under the World Bank Group's Scaling Mini-Grid (SMG) program. READ MORE
Investors Forecast Bright Future for Mini-Grids in Africa
IFC Insights | June 2020
For many years, energy developers have believed that mini-grids offer a cost-effective solution for providing communities and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa with low-cost, reliable, and clean power—particularly in places out of reach of existing power grids. READ MORE
Infrastructure for Recovery: Leveraging Blended/Concessional Finance
Webinar | March 27, 2022
Co-hosted by the Global Infrastructure Hub as part of the series “New Deals: Funding Solutions for the Future of Infrastructure,” this webinar explores how blended concessional finance is an important tool to mobilize private capital for sustainable infrastructure, featuring the World Bank Group's Scaling Mini-Grid Program.