Arusha/ Düsseldorf/ Berlin, 7 March 2018 – ARE Members Rafiki Power (E.ON Offgrid solutions GmbH) and Mobisol GmbH have partnered to pilot a new approach labelled the Hybrid Grid for off-grid clients in rural Tanzania. The Hybrid Grid is combining the best of mini-grids and solar home systems to bring higher value and better service to their mutual customers at lower cost. While Rafiki Power will continue to build mini-grid infrastructure, Mobisol will complement the offer and help reduce overall costs by equipping customers lying outside the core perimeter of the mini-grid with their large solar home systems. Both the mini-grid and the solar home system option deliver reliable, clean and affordable energy.
Jointly Mobisol and Rafiki Power will be in a position to give access to a wider range of appliances to more customers. This will also include the possibility to finance and monitor the appliances on a PAYG basis. All customers will have access to to standard appliances such as TVs (up to 43”) and fridges.
Mobisol with its efficient DC technology will enable the outlying customer’s access to so-called productive use appliances ranging from mobile phone chargers, barber shop equipment to village cinemas. Within travel distance these customers will also have access to larger productive use equipment run on Rafiki Powers AC Mini-grids that allow for economics of scale such as water pumps, mills, cold storage, carpenter shops utilizing electric drills and saws or welding shops. . Increased demand for new or larger appliances can flexibly be met by installed additional capacity. Beyond improving the value proposition for customers, the cooperation allows for synergy effects both in terms of logistics and of operations but most importantly allows for economic development in the entire region.
Daniel Becker CEO Rafiki Power said “We are thrilled to combine the best of both worlds of mini-grids and solar home systems. Our customers stand to benefit from the improved offer, in particular in terms of access to a wider range of high quality appliances. The operational synergies between our businesses will help to reduce overall costs.“
Mini-grid and solar home and business systems providers have long been considered as separate silos. Electrification strategies have tended to opt either for one or the other technology, giving the impression that they were mutually exclusive.
Thomas Gottschalk, CEO Mobisol Group emphasized that “the collaborative approach between the mini-grids experts and large solar home system pioneers offers a flexible and powerful solution to all planners in rural electrification. The time of choosing one or the other technology is now over and their mutual benefits can now be combined.“
The cooperation of Rafiki Power with Mobisol is proving the complementarity of both approaches and thereby widens the options and solutions available when planning rural electrification at larger scale.