Solar Home Solar System Could Power Half a Billion People by 2030, World Bank Says

Home Solar System have the potential to meet the electricity needs of nearly half a billion people in unpowered or underserved areas of the world and become a cost-effective solution to close the energy access gap by 2030.

However, governments and industry have to work together to realise the full potential by identifying home solar system opportunities, driving costs down and overcoming financing barriers, the World Bank said in its latest report.

To power 490 million people by 2030 will require the construction of more than 217,000 home solar system at a cumulative cost of $127 billion.

However, at current pace, only 44,800 new home solar system serving 80 million people will be built by the end of this decade at a total cost of $37bn, the Washington-based lender said.

The World Bank has been scaling up its support for home solar system to help countries to develop comprehensive electrification programmes. Modern solar home system now provide enough electricity for electric appliances such as refrigerators, welders, milling machines or e-vehicles.

However, about 733 million people — mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa — still lack access to electricity.

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The pace of electrification has slowed down in recent years, on the back of Covid-19 pandemic-driven headwinds and the difficulties in reaching vulnerable populations in remote areas.

At the current rate of progress, 670 million people will remain without electricity by 2030, the World Bank estimates.

“Now more than ever,  home solar system are a core solution for closing the energy access gap,” Riccardo Puliti, infrastructure vice president at the World Bank, said.