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How Mobile Money Platforms and Other Innovative Technologies Have Stimulated Energy Revolution in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa
N.N. Opiyo
Rural Electrification, Minigrid, Mobile Money, Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG)
Finance, Markets and Policies
Subtopic: Policies and Scenarios for Renewables, Societal and Global Challenges
Event: 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 7DV.2.29
2013 - 2018
ISBN: 3-936338-60-4
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20192019-7DV.2.29
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


Sub-Saharan Africa continues to suffer energy poverty due to low grid expansion rates necessitated by low economic activities in those regions, sparse population distribution coupled with low household load demands, and insufficient power generation. On the other hand, small solar power microgeneration systems have emerged as potential alternatives to grid electrifications, enabling households to make modest investments into their power systems, and to modify their systems according to their changing economic and power demand circumstances. Innovative mobile money platforms have created an atmosphere of financial inclusivity, enabling people in remote rural areas to carry out financial transactions over long distances using the most basic of mobile phones, thus connecting them to the formal economy. In addition to creating many avenues for trade, job creation, and innovation, the mobile money platforms have also acted as catalysts for innovating energy models, access, and trade. Now, most businesses involved in energy generation and trade rely on these platforms for their financial transactions. This enables remote running and operation of energy generation and management systems. The energy consumers also use the platforms to pay for their power, and to modify their power bundles according to their needs/incomes. Emergence of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) companies has seen steep rise in PV installations in the area due to provision of microcredit facilities, enabled by mobile money platforms.