IRENA co-organised the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) along with the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), in Accra, Ghana, on 1-2 November 2012. This report presents the key findings and recommendations that emerged from the roundtable discussions during IOREC.
The report highlights that off-grid renewable energy systems, stand-alone and mini-grids, have the potential to play a significant role in achieving the goal of universal electricity access. In recognition of this role, their development needs to be integrated into the mainstream rural electrification strategies.
While several successful deployment approaches exist, there is a need to scale up. What’s required is a shift from the prevalent project-by-project approach, to one that focusses on the creation of a sustainable environment that facilitates large-scale deployment.
Involvement of the private sector, and in particular of local enterprises, will be instrumental in extending electricity access in rural areas, rapidly and sustainably, and hence needs to be promoted. Off-grid renewable energy technologies produce striking synergies with sectors critical for human development, and play an important role in improving access to water supply while also extending healthcare and telecommunication services in rural areas.