Survey Explores Expectations of Future Demand for Off-Grid Appliances in Homes, Businesses, and Healthcare Settings

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Quality-assured, super-efficient off-grid appliances are essential to global efforts to provide modern clean energy services and move under-served communities up the “energy ladder.” A robust, competitive global marketplace for these appliances is needed to bring down costs and foster innovation. However, this market is underdeveloped and industry and market stakeholders lack the information needed to make timely decisions about off-grid appliance design, procurement, and policy and programmatic intervention.

To address this challenge, the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP)—an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial—is sponsoring a series of research efforts to help market actors understand the off-grid appliance market and provide a framework for stakeholders to identify business opportunities and policy and programmatic interventions.

Between 18 December 2014 and 13 January 2015, Global LEAP conducted an online survey of energy access professionals, asking two key questions regarding a list of 27 product categories split between two groups: appliances commonly used by off-grid households and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME), and those commonly used in clinical applications.

  1. Over the next three to five years, what appliance products are likely to inspire the greatest off-grid consumer demand?
  2. What appliances are likely to drive the greatest energy access (e.g. socioeconomic or environmental) benefits?

The survey received 239 responses from industry, policy, and development stakeholders all over the world.

Figure 1: Ranking Overview: Household or SME Off-Grid Appliances

Off-Grid Appliance Rankings

The survey shows that, for off-grid household and SME applications, LED room lighting appliances, mobile phone charging banks, televisions, radios, refrigeration, fans, and solar water pumps are the appliances with the highest likely demand, in that order. Demand for these appliances tends to be consistent across regions, though with some regional variation in relative demand for specific products. For example, in South Asia and West Africa, off-grid fans are identified as fourth highest in terms of anticipated consumer demand.

For healthcare and clinical applications, the results are consistent across regions. Refrigeration, sterilizers/auto-claves, patient monitors, and portable ultrasound machines are consistently ranked as the top four off-grid clinical appliances in terms of anticipated demand and potential impacts. Regulated IV pumps rank fifth in terms of anticipated off-grid consumer demand, while O40 concentrators rank fifth in terms of impact potential.

This survey was developed by the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network and CLASP, and CLASP conducted the analysis. The United Nations Foundation is a Global LEAP Partner, and CLASP serves as Operating Agent for several Global LEAP activities.


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