From the Bottom Up: How Small Power Producers and Mini-Grids Can Deliver Electrification and Renewable Energy in Africa

GPOBA co-financed with the Africa Renewable Energy and Access Program (AFREA) and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) the development of From the Bottom Up: How Small Power Producers and Mini-Grids Can Deliver Electrification and Renewable Energy in Africa,"under the Africa Electrification Initiative. This nearly 400-page comprehensive guide, part of the World Bank's "Directions in Development" series, focuses on the decentralized approach, providing practical guidance on how small power producers and mini-grid operators can deliver both electrification and renewable energy in rural areas. 

The guide highlights the ground-level regulatory and policy questions that must be answered by electricity regulators, rural energy agencies, and ministries to promote commercially sustainable investments by private operators and community organizations. Among the practical questions addressed is how to design and implement retail tariffs, quality of service standards, feed-in tariffs, and backup tariffs. The guide also analyzes the regulatory implementation issues triggered by donor grants and so-called top-up payments. It also addresses interconnection and operating standards for small power producers connected to main grids and isolated mini-grids. All these implementation issues are presented with specific ground-level options and recommendations rather than just general pronouncements. In addition, to make the discussion more useful to practitioners, the guide provides numerous real-world examples of successful and unsuccessful regulatory and policy actions taken in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania, as well as Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.Read or download the guide.
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