Off-grid for Energy Access
Universal access to energy is a development imperative. Energy is a catalyst and enabler of development, and societies cannot develop without reliable, adequate and affordable energy services. Decades of national and international efforts have yielded impressive gains in access to modern energy. Yet, over 733 million lived without electricity access in 2020 and more than 2.3 billion relied on traditional cooking fuels. Estimates suggest that under a business-as-usual scenario around 620-670 million people will still not have access to electricity by 2030. Majority of those will be in Sub-Saharan Africa where over 1.1 billion are also estimated to be living without clean cooking access by 2030.
Off-grid renewable energy solutions – including stand-alone systems and mini-grids – will play a crucial role in achieving universal access to modern energy in a timely and sustainable manner. To accelerate the pace of off-grid renewable energy deployment, many different pre-conditions must be met. IRENA works on different fronts through various platforms, collaborations, capacity building activities and knowledge products to bring together different experiences and best practices; these relate to design and implementation of enabling policies, tailored financing schemes, and innovative business models and technology applications for off-grid systems across sectors.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) organises the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC), a global platform for sharing experiences and best practices on design and implementation of enabling policies, tailored financing schemes, innovative business models and technology applications for stand-alone and mini-grid systems.