Publication - Accelerating the Productive Use of Electricity : Enabling Energy Access to Power Rural Economic Growth

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Accelerating the Productive Use of Electricity : Enabling Energy Access to Power Rural Economic Growth
Published in
October 2023
The productive use of electricity in rural communities can contribute to significant socioeconomic development and increased welfare. The virtuous cycle of productive use of electricity assumes that early development creates higher incomes, leading to increased demand for electricity and further investment in improving electricity quality and availability. Electricity suppliers benefit from higher revenue and financial sustainability, and appliance dealers, credit services, and investors benefit from market growth. This report highlights the importance of actively promoting productive uses to micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs), including small farmers, as a way of accelerating development after communities gain access to electricity. The report provides a dynamic roadmap for accelerating the impacts of rural energy access, which is based a well-grounded, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive approach that addresses the specific needs and complexities of rural communities. When well done, this roadmap responds rapidly to shifting circumstances and events, adjusts based on real-time results tracking, builds on partnerships that continuously incorporate local intelligence and expertise, scale depending on experience-based learning, and constantly maintain poverty reduction as a mission-critical objective. Additionally, the report offers recommendations for grid-operators, mini-grids, and off-grid solar based on the experiences of successful and indeed unsuccessful programs. Enterprises in all these supply sectors should prioritize the growth of sales to their productive use customers.