Rural Off-Grid Electricity Generation for Communities in Africa

Project details

“Replication of Rural off-grid Electricity Generation through Technology and Business Innovation” is a multi-institutional research programme funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC grant EP/G06394X/1). The aim of the project is to establish and implement easy-to-replicate, sustainable decentralized off-grid electricity generation which promotes development and improves well being in rural communities in East Africa. The project is composed of a number of key work areas: (1) Baseline knowledge and analysis, (2) Design, implementation and monitoring, (3) Business processes, (4) Demonstrating and verification of impacts in deployment projects, (5) Assessing & evaluating the policy framework, (6) Training, education, capacity building and knowledge transfer and (7) Network development and dissemination

Our aim:

  • Our goal is sustainable and replicable electrification in rural East Africa, since reliable and affordable sources of energy are fundamental not only for wellbeing, but also for economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • We have devised a system to provide electrical services such as lighting and refrigeration to rural communities that do not have access to the national electricity network.
  • By engaging a sustainable business model, the community operated electrical installation is made economically viable and self-financing.
  • The installation is modular and is therefore easily replicable in other locations.

We argue that to implement sustainable rural electrification, three important components are required:

People: Engage the local community in determining their needs, aspirations and goals and assess the social, economic and cultural context of the community to identify the most appropriate system.

Product: Select technologies best suited for the local situation, based on the resources available and the wants and needs of the community.

Process: The introduction of energy systems must be accompanied by the development of business processes to allow sustainable replication, deliver social benefits and generate wealth for the community.

Please see our project pages for information on our six successful solar installations.

Project updates

e4D has installed six PV-battery mini grids in three East African countries. For details please visit

External web pages related to rural electrification

(Note: The e4D Project is not responsible for the content of external sites)

Alliance for Rural Electrification

RETScreen International

HOMER Energy

Renewable World

Africa Minigrid Developers Association: AMDA

Project structure diagram
Inter-relationship between work packages in the project and the key aspects of people, product and process.


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