Opportunities for electric cooking in mini-grids

By Beryl Onjala, Research Assistant at Nuvoni Research.

Among the many efforts to establish sustainable and reliable electricity access for the estimated 600 million people who lack it in sub-Saharan Africa, mini-grid projects are rapidly becoming a promising solution, especially to power households and enterprises within rural and marginalized areas. Households most commonly use energy from mini-grids for electric lighting and powering or charging other small electric appliances such as cellphones, televisions, and radios.  Exclusively powering household needs, however, often leads to under-utilisation of the electricity generated by mini-grids. This is because we are yet to develop affordable, scale-able electricity storage technologies. In the case of solar-powered mini-grids, for instance, low daytime demand increases the risk that excess energy will have to be dumped when the batteries are full.

As a measure to address this challenge, mini-grid projects afford communities opportunities to use electricity beyond their immediate domestic needs by improving, for example, the efficiency of social ameniti