About 733 million people worldwide cannot access safe, affordable, and reliable energy. They often have no alternative but to turn to expensive traditional solutions such as kerosene lamps, which provide low-quality lighting and can harm their health. Since 2015, the Off-Grid Solar/Lighting Global program has been one of the key pillars of ESMAP’s energy access activities. The program was initially part of ESMAP’s support to Lighting Africa and facilitated direct energy access, through off-grid solar technologies, to more than 420 million people.
The Off-Grid Solar Scale-Up initiative aims to increase access to clean, reliable, and sustainable electricity provided by modern off-grid solar solutions by leveraging World Bank lending to the public sector while also bolstering private sector participation.
As COVID-19 has focused attention on these issues, the initiative will pay particular attention to increasing access to stand-alone solar systems for health and educational facilities, in addition to other essential institutions.
Solutions include, but are not limited to, portable solar lanterns, solar home systems, and productive use applications.