PIDG companies collect data on expected numbers of people gaining access before a deal is closed, after a deal is closed, and once a project becomes operational. As more infrastructure becomes operational, so the number of people benefiting increases. These figures often rely on estimates based on conversion methodologies, for example calculating the number of people accessing improved energy services as a result of a grid-tied power plant.
This year PIDG commissioned a review of the affordability of infrastructure for poor and low-income people. The review found that PIDG is capable of structuring projects that serve the poor as end users, and in many cases, may be underestimating the effects on access for poor people. In the coming year PIDG will build up data on infrastructure access rates and constraints for lower income populations. Ensuring least cost solutions and broadening project origination to find more opportunities to serve those most in need will also be priorities for PIDG in the coming year.
Beyond the grid infrastructure is a small but rapidly growing part of the PIDG portfolio. In 2017 InfraCo Africa partnered with Standard Microgrid (SMG), to help expand its distributed energy businesses focused on rural electrification. SMG provides low cost off-grid electricity subscriptions ranging between $5 and $30 per month through solar microgrids. With InfraCo Africa support, SMG aims to put in place up to 150 microgrids in Zambia, connecting more than 110,000 people and contributing to the country’s plans to raise rural electrification from 4% in 2014 to 51% by 2030.
A primary school in Mugurameno, Zambia, powered by the InfraCo Africa-supported Standard MicroGrid