Papua New Guinea Emerges as a Planet-Major Industry for Mobile Spend-Go Solar


Papua New Guineans are embracing mobile spend-go, aka PAYG, solar, which is proving to be a potent, if tiny-scale, agent of transform in terms of enhancing power access, rural electrification, renewable power use and sustainable improvement.

Popular worldwide for its beaches and coral reefs, the southwestern Pacific islands of Papua Guinea are about as culturally and biologically diverse an island nation as you can locate. It is also remote and isolated with a single of the lowest percentages of access to electrical energy outdoors Sub-Saharan Africa. With a population of some 4.85 million, access to electricity in Papua New Guinea was just 22.93% in 2016, according to World Bank statistics compiled from officially recognized sources. That dropped to 15.47% for the rural population, but reached 72.69% for the urban population. Information is scanty and spans a wide variety, on the other hand. Additionally, grid service is poor and prohibitively costly for most. Blackouts are frequent. And, like most, if not all island nations, diesel, oil and other fossil fuels are the predominant fuel supply for energy generation, as nicely as transportation and market, conveying a host of human and broader-primarily based environmental difficulties.

Access to Electricity in Papua New Guinea (Percentage of Population)That is altering speedy, household by household and business enterprise by business enterprise. Sales of mobile spend-go solar kits have soared, increasing 68% per year given that 2012. Solar energy is now lighting some 60% of households in Papua New Guinea. That is up from just two% in 2012, according to the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) not too long ago released “Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting Industry Dynamics in Papua New Guinea.”

In a quantity of nations with higher mobile penetration and low power access, solar options with mobile charging sees a main uptake.

—highlighted Subrata Barman, who leads IFC’s Pacific Power Advisory Plan.

“This is for the reason that people today want the power to charge their mobiles, and there is also an try by mobile corporations to launch initiatives for mobile charging. It is crucial to keep in mind that the revenues of mobile corporations are straight connected to handsets getting charged…The entire concept behind spend-as-you-go was to make it reasonably priced. We realized people today would not be in a position to spend for solar systems upfront. So, we broke down the payments, which in some circumstances are reduce than what they would spend for flashlight batteries.”

Mobile PAYG solar in Papua New Guinea

The possible for solar to replace fossil fuels in Papua New Guinea is higher, according to Lighting Papua New Guinea, which has played a essential, pivotal function in multilateral efforts to market and foster solar and renewable power investments and use in Papua New Guinea. Lighting Papua New Guinea is a branch of the Planet Bank Group’s Lighting Worldwide plan, which is functioning “to quickly enhance access to supply off-grid solar power for the 1 billion people today living without having grid electrical energy worldwide.” For its component, Lighting Papua New Guinea has been “creating markets for, and advertising the use of solar energy across the island nation, extra especially in rural places that lack grid access.”

Interaction During Lighting PNG’s “Gutpla Solar, Gutpla Life” Consumer Awareness Campaign
Interaction in the course of Lighting PNG’s “Gutpla Solar, Gutpla Life” Customer Awareness Campaign
Supply: [Report] Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting Industry Dynamics in Papua New Guinea

“With 300 days of sunshine in a lot of components of the nation, there’s good possible to harness solar energy for enterprises and households,” Lighting Papua New Guinea highlights. The plan, supported by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, has helped bring so-referred to as pico, mobile spend-go solar to some 1.six million Papua New Guineans for the very first time. All told as of August 2018, the plan has offered mobile spend-go and off-grid solar energy systems to a single-fifth of Papua New Guinea’s population, “mainly in remote villages and rugged highlands, assisting to enhance tiny enterprises and reduce household fees.”

Lighting Papua New Guinea has drawn on the practical experience it has gained in Africa and Asia to assistance 10 international and neighborhood corporations in Papua New Guinea create and develop the island nation’s neighborhood off-grid solar market place. By and substantial, these are solar companies and distributors from other emerging markets, according to plan executives.

The plan has helped international solar companies enter the neighborhood market place by delivering business enterprise connections and market place intelligence, as nicely as education for shoppers and retailers on the worth of employing high quality-verified solar solutions.

—Rwaida Gharib, a Lighting Worldwide communications specialist, told Solar Magazine.

Lighting Papua New Guinea is no longer involved in the plan, but according to its records, some 317,000 solar lighting solutions, lanterns and solar household systems that meet Lighting Worldwide High-quality requirements had been imported into Papua New Guinea involving January 2014–June 2019, according to Gharib.

Lighting Papua New Guinea began out by partnering with Origin Power Australia subsidiary Origin Power Papua New Guinea and investee client Bank South Pacific (BSP) to create a pilot mobile spend-go solar project. “As component of the pilot, IFC advised on how to finest adapt the BSP mobile banking platform to deal with Origin PAYG payments. Our perform right here was merely to assistance establish the mobile revenue platform for payments to Origin Power and present early stage guidance. Considering the fact that our initial engagement on the other hand, we have completed our advisory engagement, as our help was restricted to improvement of the business enterprise program and delivering implementation help for the very first 200 systems,” Gharib stated in an interview.

Solar power access in Papua New Guinea: From the grass roots to the highest levels

Papua New Guinea in November 2018 invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States to help efforts to improve electrical energy access, the key aim getting to connect 70% of its population to electrical energy by 2030. Just 13% of Papua New Guinea’s population has trusted access to electrical energy, according to a White Property statement.

Grid Electrification Statistics in Papua New Guinea (In Percentage, 1990 to 2016)
Figure two Grid electrification in pick nations (in percentage, 1990 to 2016)22
Chart: [Report] Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting Industry Dynamics in Papua New Guinea
“The Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership is intended to concentrate on the value of principles-primarily based, sustainable infrastructure improvement that is transparent, non-discriminatory, environmentally accountable, promotes fair and open competitors, upholds robust requirements, meets the genuine demands of the people today of Papua New Guinea and avoids unsustainable debt burdens,” the White Property explained. “It is intended to adopt a robust concentrate on investments that present employment and instruction possibilities for neighborhood contractors and communities. It is also intended to concentrate not only on delivering higher influence investments but making certain enhanced coordination and governance inside the power sector.”

Information from the IFC’s most up-to-date report shows that Papua New Guinea has a single of the highest prices of use of off-grid solar lighting in the creating planet, the multilateral improvement finance agency highlights. “It’s a move driven by the good results of IFC’s Lighting PNG plan which has helped 22% of the population—or 1.eight million people—gain access to off-grid solar lighting and mobile telephone charging for the very first time. Primarily based on comprehensive, in-nation investigation, the market place for solar options now totals some US$260 million a year, and development is anticipated to continue more than the subsequent 5 years,” according to the report.


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