The challenge: Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental driver of economic growth, environmental sustainability and social development. Still 1.4 billion people around the world lack access to electricity, while 2.7 billion people cook with traditional biomass. According to latest forecasts (source International Energy Agency) 1.2 billion people in 2030 will still lack access to electricity. The global electrification rate will rise from 79% in 2009 to 85% by 2030 â€” but only 50% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa will have access to electricity.
Market value: The energy market in the BoP is estimated to be worth US$433 billion.
The opportunity: Next to food and housing, energy is the biggest expense for low-income households. An average 9% of the overall BoP household expenditure is spent on energy. Households with an annual income of up to $500 spend an average of $148 per year on energy, equivalent to around $0.40 a day. Those earning between $1,000 and $1,500 per year spend nearly $1 a day. Taking into account the size of the BoP, this spending represent a market of significant size (source: IFC The Next 4 Billion).
New innovative solutions are required to address this opportunity and address the energy demand for energy services beyond the demand for lighting and cooking products.
We believe in the potential of business in addressing the energy challenge by realizing sustainable energy services for the BoP. The BoP Innovation Center is involved in different initiatives that introduce innovative energy services to low-income groups.