Mini grid solutions for underserved customers: new insights from Nigeria and India

Traditionally, mini grids have been viewed as “off-grid” systems that are built and operated solely for communities without electricity. The reality, however, is that millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and India who are connected to the main grid suffer from poor grid reliability (“weak grid”), sometimes with a power supply of less than 4 to 8 hours daily and with frequent disputes over the accuracy of billing. As a backstop, these poorly served customers often find themselves forced to rely on small fossil fuel–powered generators that are noisy, polluting, and expensive to operate. "Mini Grid Solutions for Underserved Customers: New Insights from Nigeria and India" explores another option: undergrid mini grids. These are mostly solar hybrid–powered mini grids built and operated by private companies in areas already connected with the main electricity grid but facing poor technical and commercial service. This comprehensive book examines how undergrid mini grids can create win-win-win outcomes for retail customers, distribution enterprises, and mini grid developers. Drawing on extensive discussions with pioneering developers, the book showcases detailed case studies from Nigeria and India, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities of interconnected and non-interconnected undergrid mini grids.