Publication - Energy for Rural Industrialisation Productive Use of Energy 2.0

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Energy for Rural Industrialisation Productive Use of Energy 2.0
Ashley Wearne, Jeroen van der Linden, Zachary Bloomfield
Published in
August 2022
A new approach to ‘Productive Use of Energy (PUE)’ is essential to drive a rise in rural industrial activity and achieve sustainable rural electrification. It has been well established in the rural electrification discourse that energy supply and energy use are two sides of the same coin: only when the energy is used productively can it lead to economic and social development. Yet so far, ‘user-side’ approaches have not harnessed scalable commercial opportunities.

In the study “Productive Use 2.0 – New Scaling Opportunities and Innovations in the Sector”, GET.transform takes stock of the evolving PUE landscape and discusses how to unlock large-scale deployment. The paper aims to support governments, development banks, donors and project developers in understanding new opportunities and promising business models. Thanks to the emergence of new actors in the private sector, supplying hardware and appliances for sale and for use, PUE is evolving to a “2.0” era. A transition is underway from non-profit, donor-driven campaigns, to a new PUE landscape where private investment, management and gradually even commercial debt could start to play its role.

Taking lessons from agricultural value chain analysis, the authors, and a growing number of private PUE companies and investors hope to see a shift away from the single-appliance grant projects which donors have favoured, and a move towards financing instruments that can cater for a multitude of appliances. Here, users are gradually able to select hardware or services themselves, based on the demand for value-added produce from urban and international markets. Without a link to new markets for exports, farmers and other users simply cannot justify investing in new equipment powered even if it may add value to their products...