It’s an open secret that very few mini-grid companies in Africa have managed to scale up, expand widely, and become profitable. But mini-grids also work really, really well for the communities they serve, the AgriGrid concept re-imagines the thinking behind what a mini-grid business is — rather than being a seller-of-energy, the AgriGrid positions mini-grids as a way to create rural wealth.
Without more economic wealth, business stays stagnant for the mini-grid company. When business stagnates, all of the good things that electricity can do for a community doesn’t happen. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop developing mini-grids, it just means it’s time to innovate and improve.
The AgriGrid concept combines two very different types of business into one — it imagines an agribusiness that can generate long-term agricultural income for a community, and a mini-grid business that can power agricultural infrastructure as well as households, micro-enterprises, and community infrastructure. Creating wealth for communities through agriculture helps mini-grid companies while increasing the positive developmental impacts of mini-grids.
AgriGrid is a business model concept for next-generation mini-grids in Africa. This document introduces the concept, provides a case study, and provides conclusions/next steps.
All the tools you need in one document: market and site pipeline scan, site data collection, business case development, financial modeling, and evaluation.
Open or Download the AgriGrid Toolkit
The financial model assesses the operational and financial viability of the AgriGrid concept.
Before you try out this approach in your own organization, make sure you save yourself time by learning from the challenges that ANKA faced along the way.
Camille André-Bataille, CEO of ANKA Madagascar, asks: What if a model combining agricultural development and energy access could help move this industry from “selling rural electrons” to “creating rural wealth”?