Promoting Energy Access by Supporting Innovation and Competition in the Off-Grid Market

Globally, 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity, and another billion have only unreliable access. These underserved communities living “beyond the grid” are typically among the world’s poorest and must rely on dangerous, polluting fuels like kerosene and diesel for their daily energy needs.

Emerging technologies — ranging from small solar portable lanterns and pico-lighting systems to larger standalone energy systems and mini-grids — provide off-grid households and businesses with access to clean, reliable energy, displacing pre-modern fuels and delivering numerous health, environmental, and socioeconomic benefits. However, the markets for these products are nascent and need to be brought to scale.

Global LEAP accelerates markets for small-scale solar lighting, off-grid appliances, and mini-grids through efforts focused on product quality assurance, promotion of demand-side super-efficiency, and partner collaboration

Global LEAP’s cross-cutting research, projects, and programs transform off-grid markets by Building Technical CapacityDriving and Demonstrating Innovation and ScaleCreating and Sharing Market IntelligenceFacilitating Business Opportunity and Investment, and Policymaker Technical Assistance.

Download a Global LEAP Program factsheet.

Many companies are unaware of the commercial opportunity presented by the off-grid market, and those that are aware often struggle to find clear and timely paths to market. Global LEAP addresses these challenges by highlighting great off-grid products and reducing risk across the supply chain. For example:

The Global LEAP Awards identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances, evaluating them on the basis of quality, off-grid appropriateness, energy efficiency, and cost. This has proven to be a highly effective program, giving off-grid energy companies a jumpstart in their search for great appliances and giving appliance companies incentive to make innovative products and a clear point of entry into the off-grid market. 

Global LEAP+RBF couples the Global LEAP Awards with results-based financing incentives to mitigate risk for early-mover off-grid solar and appliance companies, driving best-in-class off-grid appliances into the market at scale. 

A lack of information is a barrier to action. Global LEAP develops and shares information about off-grid markets to equip market actors – from investors to policymakers, from inventors to distributors – to make faster, smarter decisions. For example: 

Global LEAP’s State of the Global Off-Grid Appliance Market report provides a data-driven analysis of the current market for three important off-grid appliance categories—fans, televisions, and refrigeration. The report projects the growth of the markets for these products, analyzes product-specific design and distribution trends, and makes recommendations for organizations considering the market. 

Global LEAP’s off-grid appliance testing and data-sharing program provides essential data about off-grid appliances’ performance and quality, providing the entire off-grid market much-needed, actionable information. 

Connecting the different parts of the supply chain is critical to the growth of the global off-grid market. Global LEAP facilitates business-to-business and business-to-investor matchmaking to bring the market together and identify emerging business opportunities.  

Learn more about Global LEAP’s Off-Grid Market Networking Events.

Are you an off-grid company or investor seeking introductions to great off-grid companies? Contact us

Enabling policies and regulatory environments allow markets for off-grid technologies to thrive. Global LEAP supports the development and adoption of certification schemes, quality assurance frameworks and standards for off-grid products.

If you’re a public or private policymaker and would like to discuss off-grid products, please contact us.

Reliable evaluation and comparison of off-grid products is critical to product design and procurement, as well as investor due diligence and enabling policies like quality and performance standards and beneficial tax regimes. 

Global LEAP has supported the development of the Lighting Global Quality Standard and Quality Test Method, as well as the test standard for low-voltage off-grid LED lighting appliances. Global LEAP has also developed the world’s first test methods for off-grid televisions and fans. These test methods are being used in accredited laboratories all over the world.  Global LEAP is also pioneering a quality assurance framework for mini-grids

For more information on these efforts, contact us