Studies and reports

Crowd Power: Mapping the Market for Energy Access

This report reveals how crowdfunding for energy access is a niche market segment with only $3.4 million raised for individuals, charities, NGOs and social enterprises in Africa and Asia in 2015.
Authors: Davinia Cogan and Simon Collings
Click here to download the report





How do energy micro-businesses grow ?

This study analyses the growth process of micro-enterprises and in particular looks at the key features of growth and factors leading to such growth.

The report presents the results of in-depth interviews conducted with 17 micro-businesses supported under the Developing Energy Enterprises Programme (DEEP).

Authors: Lennart Bangens & Simon Collings

Click here to download Part 1 of the report
Download Part 2 of the report


Running a business with Solar PV

An analysis of products available on the market and opportunities to run a solar business in Tanzania.

Author: Marc Laperche

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Heat Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs

The Moving Energy Initiative's flagship report - Heat Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs - presents for the first time estimates of the volume and costs of energy used in situations of forced displacement worldwide. The evidence strongly suggests the need for an overhaul in the way that energy is managed within the humanitarian sector and shows how new approaches could benefit refugees and displaced people, host country communities and the environment.

Authors: Glada Lahn and Owen Grafham, Chatham House

Download the Executive Summary

Download the full report


Stimulating solutions to energy access through the use of innovation prizes

This paper examines some of the major problems relating to energy access and the potential application of innovation prizes to these problems. It challenges the assumption that prizes are an easy way to solve energy access problems.

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Author: Simon Collings, Director of Learning and Innovation, GVEP International



Impact of enhanced access to mobile phone charging on mobile phone usage: A pilot investigation in Kenya

GVEP has worked to support the deployment of solar mobile phone charging stations across east Africa. This study will examine the impact of just one of those deployments, where GVEP was piloting the usage of a new solar pay-as-you-go charging technology produced by Azuri Technologies at ten charging locations in the coastal region of Kenya, and the impact that deployment had on mobile phone usage.

Download the report here

Prepared for publication by: Micah Melnyk and Simon Collings


Assessment of the briquette market in Kenya

Recognizing the potential of this technology GVEP is supporting briquette entrepreneurs through its Capital Access for Renewable Energy Enterprises (CARE2) project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).This assessment was conducted to gain a better understanding of the businesses operating in the biomass briquette sector and the type of interventions that are required to inform the programme moving forward. The study also reviewed other initiatives taking place in the sector in Kenya.The assessment was conducted by Mareco Limited, a business consultancy and financial services company, during May and June 2013.

Download the report here

Authors: Yaron Cohen & Allan Marega, Mareco LTD

Contributions & Editing: Laura Clough, GVEP International


At the bottom of the phone charging value chain...

In the rural region of the lake Victoria in Tanzania, almost half of the phone owners must travel between 4 and 18 Km to charge their phone due to lack of energy access. If we consider that more than 90% of phones uses are related to business or to money transfers, then a broader access to mobile charging services would represent a key value creation lever at the local level. Through its Access to energy programme, ENEA Consulting realized a pro-bono mission in Tanzania for the NGO GVEP International. The purpose of this mission was to conduct an analysis of the solar phone charging value chain in Tanzania and produce recommendations to foster phone charging entrepreneurship in remote areas.

Download the report here

Author: Thibault Lesueur (ENEA Consulting)

Active contributors of the mission: Simon Collings (GVEP), Faustine Msangria (GVEP), Helmut Nyoni (GVEP), Rose Michael (GVEP), Zakayo Cyprian (GVEP), Godfrey Sanga (GVEP), Vincent Feuillette (ENEA Consulting).

Availability of phone charging services in off-grid areas of the Lake Zone region, Tanzania

With 98% of rural households in Tanzania currently unconnected to national grid electricity but over half the adult population using mobiles, it seems there is a growing demand for phone charging services. GVEP commissioned a study covering the Lake regions of Tanzania to map the demand and identify entrepreneurs who would be willing to provide these kinds of services. The conclusions drawn show high levels of interest for mobile phone charging businesses from both customers and potential entrepreneurs; the only limiting factor was finance. Further research is needed in order to establish the best method for entrepreneurs to access external finance and where the new businesses should be located.

Download the summary of report here

Prepared for publication by: Stephanie McTaggart and Simon Collings

Final Report: Terminal Evaluation of the Developing Energy Enterprises Project in East Africa

The Developing Energy Enterprise Project (DEEP) has now concluded and this document, carried out by an external consultant, Restio Energy, evaluates the achievements of the programme. The report highlights the fact that the overall assessment of the DEEP EA programme is positive. The objectives have been met and in many cases exceeded and the impact will be long lasting. Perhaps the most important issue behind the programme’s success is its relevance. With access to modern and clean energy sources in this region remaining particularly low (average 15% grid connection) the project is very well positioned to improve access in the medium to long-term and to do so on a particularly promising platform; small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Download the report here

Author: Restio Energy (Pty) Ltd

Developing Energy Enterprises in East Africa

Booklet about an energy access programme run by the charity GVEP in East Africa
Started in 2008, GVEP's Developing Energy Enterprises Project (DEEP) has ended in February 2013. Over the past five years, the programme has supported the growth of small energy businesses in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. About a thousand of entrepreneurs have benefited from our technical and business support enabling them to scale their activities. 

These entrepreneurs work at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in rural and periurban areas. The products and services they offer have contributed to provide an improved access to clean energy solutions for low-income customers in these communities. 

The booklet Developing Energy Enterprises in East Africa compiles case studies presenting some of the best performing DEEP entrepreneurs as well as some of their customers. The booklet showcases the main renewable energy technologies used by DEEP entrepreneurs (improved cookstoves, briquettes and solar). We share the lessons learnt from DEEP as well as business plan and entrepreneurial tips. You’ll also find more information about our other energy access programmes.  

Download the DEEP booklet (PDF version) or the interactive DEEP booklet

Standardisation and Certification of Energy Products - The Experiences of Developing Energy Enterprises Project

One of the challenges faced by companies selling small solar PV lighting products or advanced cook stoves in Africa is the lack of enforced standards. Competition from poor quality and cheaper products makes the going tough.In the Developing Energy Enterprises Programme, we worked with a small number of briquette makers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to help them apply for the national standards mark for their product.

Download this presentation (PDF version) produced by our partner IT POWER, which presents the overview, strategy, approach, results so far, challenges and lessons learnt from the work carried out with these DEEP entrepreneurs related to standardisation and certification of their energy products.

Read full article on the GVEP blog here

GVEP Loan Guarantees: Lessons learned from Uganda and Best Practices for the future

 GVEP has been working on implementing loan guarantees to promote access to micro-finance to energy products across East Africa, and has implemented nine loan guarantee agreements with five financial institutions in Uganda across the spectrum of financial institution type. This report explains the approach that GVEP has used to implement these loan guarantees, and highlights the challenges that GVEP has experienced, on both the client (end-users and entrepreneurs seeking loans) and the financial institution sides. This report also outlines some strategies that GVEP has employed to overcome these challenges, allowing the micro-finance sector in Uganda to gain from lessons learned and best practices of lending at a micro-scale, specifically in relation to energy.

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Authors: Micah Melnyk and Juliet Gibbs

Toolkit - Energy Programme Implementation: Review of Household Clean Energy Technology for Lighting, Charging and Cooking in East Africa – Kenya and Tanzania

Household energy in Tanzania and KenyaThis toolkit has been designed as a resource document for the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to implement clean energy projects at the household level in conservation areas in Kenya and Tanzania. The toolkit will guide the user through the steps of designing and implementing an energy programme and provides information on the following topics: prerequisites when considering the suitability of energy technologies; necessary steps required to introduce a particular energy technology; market and socio-economic feasibility of energy technologies; potential financing options for energy technologies and implementation process for energy projects. 

This toolkit is a follow on from the learning report documenting the findings from a review of household clean energy technology for lighting, charging and cooking in Kenya and Tanzania conducted by GVEP International on behalf of AWF and JGI. Further information regarding the different types of energy technologies available in Kenya and Tanzania, the main suppliers of energy technologies and challenges and lessons learnt from energy programmes can be found in this report

In addition to AWF & JGI staff, the toolkit can be used to inform the larger conservation community and donors who are considering implementing projects in the household energy sector.

Authors: Laura Clough, Kavita Rai et al

Download the toolkit (35 pages), the learning report (106 pages) and the executive summary (4 pages)

The Improved Cookstove Sector in East Africa: Experience from the Developing Energy Enterprise Programme (DEEP)

Study on the improved cookstove market in East AfricaThe task of cooking is an essential part of life for people around the globe, yet in East Africa it is a task that can consume many hours of the day and have far reaching consequences on health and the environment as well as social and economic impacts. Improved cookstoves have been promoted in East Africa for many years and can help to reduce household fuel consumption, time spent on fuel wood collection and exposure to harmful emissions. 

This report aims to analyse and document GVEP International’s experience working with improved cookstove businesses in East Africa through its Developing Energy Enterprise Programme (DEEP). It describes the context of improved cookstoves in East Africa and provides an overview of the cookstove markets in each of the three countries before going on to describe how the DEEP programme has supported cookstove enterprises and the challenges and lessons learnt from the programme. In addition it examines results from stove testing done on cookstoves produced under the DEEP programme. Based on this experience the report finally goes on to present a strategy for GVEP International to take its cookstove work forward in the future.

Author: Laura Clough

Download the report on the improved cookstove sector in East Africa.

An analysis of the off-grid lighting market in Rwanda: sales, distribution and marketing

Study on off-grid solar products in RwandaThis market assessment provides an overview of the off-grid lighting market in Rwanda at the end of 2011. Ten active companies in supplying low-cost lighting solutions were interviewed on their products and sales data, their distribution channels and marketing activities as part of a baseline assessment of the off-grid lighting market in Rwanda.

This report summarises the findings of this research and provides an overview of the current status of the market, the key players and their products. It also gives insights in product availability and affordability with a focus on off-the-shelf lighting products.

The report also describes the kinds of products currently available in Rwanda, the segmentation of the market between smaller and larger products and the geography of sales.

Authors: David Disch and Jasmien Bronckaers.
Download the report

East African Cookstove Market Assessments

GVEP International and Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) have conducted market assessments across East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) on behalf of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), as part of a broader effort by the Alliance to enhance the sector market intelligence and knowledge. Further country assessments commissioned by GACC are also available through their website.

Briquette Businesses in Uganda: The potential for briquette enterprises to address the sustainability of the Ugandan biomass fuel market

briquette businesses in uganda biomassBiomass has historically been a cheap and accessible source of fuel for Uganda’s population, but the level of demand, coupled with unsustainable harvesting and poor management of forests, means that the country is approaching something of a biomass crisis. This provides a context in which the economics of briquette production become feasible and as more ventures are starting to appear, there is much scope for growth within an industry that is still in its infancy.

This report investigates the conditions in which micro and small-scale briquette producers in Uganda are operating and examines their potential for growth. It presents an overview of GVEP’s work with 139 briquette microenterprises including case studies and profiles of some of the most prominent briquette businesses and projects in the East Africa region.

Author: Hamish Ferguson

Download the Briquettes Businesses in Uganda

Green Power for Mobile features GVEP's study about phone charging micro-businesses in East Africa in its latest bi-annual report


Green Power for Mobile (GPM) published its bi-annual report, in partnership with the International Financial Corporation (IFC). The fifth edition summarises the developments within the programme and the sector. It focuses on key trends for success within Green Power for Mobile; innovation from the Indian subcontinent and Community Power from Mobile (CPM). This report features GVEP's study about phone charging micro-businesses in East Africa. Moreover, Community Power from Mobile wrote a case study about GVEP for its second White Paper "Harnessing The Full Potential of Mobile for Off-Grid Energy". 

Authors: Green Power for Mobile (GPM), Community Power from Mobile (CPM). 
Download GPM's December 2011 bi-annual report
Download CPM's White Paper


Assessment of the pico and micro-hydropower market in Rwanda 

The pico and micro-hydro market in RwandaThis report summarises findings of a market study that aimed to assess the potential commercial market for off-grid hydropower plants in Rwanda with a generation capacity of less than 50kW.

It focuses on the evaluation of demand, client requirements and purchasing power in order to inform a sector strategy.

Authors: Dr. Thomas Meier and Gerhard Fischer, Entec AG
Editors: David Disch and Rehema Kahurananga, GVEP

Download the report on the pico and micro-hydropower market in Rwanda


GVEP’S experience with working with women entrepreneurs in East Africa 

This short paper draws on GVEP’s experience in working with women entrepreneurs in East Africa under the Developing Energy Enterprises Programme (DEEP). It provides an overview of the emerging outcomes and impacts of the interventions especially in relation to linking female entrepreneurs with finance.

Author: Phyllis Kariuki and Patrick Balla
Download the report on working with women entrepreneurs

Phone Charging Micro-businesses in Tanzania and Uganda 

Study on phone charging businesses in Tanzania and Uganda - AfricaMobile network operators in Africa identify rural customer’s problems with charging phones as a major challenge in expanding their businesses.

Recent studies suggest that the need to recharge phones is a significant driver of demand for rural electrification services. This study looks closely at a series of phone charging businesses in Uganda and Tanzania, in order to better understand the market dynamics and the potential for growth and possibly diversification into sales of solar lanterns and lighting systems.

The study also seeks to understand the impact that the GVEP’s programme has had on the development of these businesses.

Author: Simon Collings
Download the phone charging report

Marketing Challenges and Strategies for Micro & Small Energy Enterprises in East Africa

This report summarises findings from a study undertaken by GVEP (Global Village Energy Partnership) under its Developing Energy Enterprise Project East Africa (DEEP EA) implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It reviews the current marketing strategies being employed by energy micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and the marketing challenges they face. The study also looks in depth at how marketing theories are being applied on the ground for specific DEEP EA supported technologies and provides recommendations on how entrepreneurs can improve their marketing activities. The report is produced to create an increase in knowledge base for energy practitioners working with MSEs in Africa

Author: Laura Clough
Download the marketing report

Market Survey on Possible Co-operation with Finance Institutions for Energy Financing in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

A consolidated report of three market studies conducted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to examine how GVEP-International could work with Financial Institutions (FIs) and Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) so as to increase the access for investment finance and stimulate demand for energy products. It is part of a USAID funded Energy Sector Grants Programme project.

Author: Phyllis Kariuki, Kavita Rai et al
Download the market survey study

Kenya Briquette Industry Study

An in-depth study into the Kenya briquette industry to enhance the support the Developing Energy Enterprise Project is offering to start-up and existing briquette enterprises. The study investigated the success factors influencing briquette making.

Download the briquette industry study

Cookstoves and Markets: Experiences, Successes and Opportunities

A new report from GVEP International that tackles the question of why the adoption of improved cook stoves has been so slow in developing countries. The report looks at the challenges associated with commercialising cookstove products and other reasons for market underdevelopment despite the enormous potential which improved cookstoves have as well as detailing several successes.

Download the cookstoves and markets report