Companies, Investors, governments and other key players in the Solar Energy sector take heed. Market opportunities for the off-grid solar industry are on the rise. There are numerous ground breaking technological advances and innovative business models emerging to transform the lives of millions of people through affordable modern solar energy services and products. The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program has been tracking these trends for the last seven years in collaboration with the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Division and in cooperation with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association. These numbers provide a comprehensive view of the state of one of the most impactful sectors in the global economy today. With the world no longer in denial about Global Warming and an urgent need for every country to reduce its Carbon Footprint – the development of large scale solar energy solutions and solutions related to every day life for both North Americans and people living off the grid around the world has never been more necessary. Here are the numbers:
- 1.2 billion people without access to the power grid
- $27 billion spent annually on lighting and mobile-phone charging technologies
- 89 million people in Africa and Asia with improved access to energy by using off-grid solar products
- $276 million invested in the off-grid solar industry in 2015, a 15-fold increase since 2012
- $3.1 billion market opportunity for the off-grid solar industry by 2020, reaching 99 million households
What does all this mean? It means investors are paying for innovation. It means consumers are demanding solutions that do not involve traditional fossil fuel solutions. It means there is a market opportunity for innovators. It means in the next ten years more people will charge their phone with a USB port into a solar energy charged battery perhaps with LED lights. It means that Americans can let solar power powered lanterns charge in the day and light their homes at night and keep their light switches off concurrent with over 250,000 villagers who live off the grid in India doing the exact same thing minus the light switches. Visualize. Actualize. Change is coming.