SVRG is carrying this project out jointly with our NGO partners in Tanzania, Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI). This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency.
Minigrids are widely advocated as the most appropriate solution for solving universal energy access in the developing world. However, few minigrids achieve sustainable long-term operations without subsidy. Our partnership is trialling an innovative approach to minigrid design and installation in marginalised Maasai communities in Northern Tanzania.
Using our “Smart Village” electrification and development approach, our partners and we work with communities to determine their needs and ability to pay, and design an integrated technology approach that combines a clean energy minigrid with a suite of appropriate and relevant technologies for productive uses, agricultural productivity and value addition, and community services such as healthcare, education and clean water, in order to promote sustainable long-term community development, which also has the effect of increasing demand for power from the minigrid and improving the community’s ability to pay.
We are testing this approach in four offgrid Maasai communities, to try to demonstrate a sustainable business model that can be applied more widely in the region, and are also following a rigorous monitoring and impact analysis process to collect the evidence necessary to prove the benefits of this approach.