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We will kickstart the day by summarizing the program and polling the audience for everyone to understand the types of stakeholders in the room, which market segments and geographies they are focused on, and what key takeaways they are expecting to leave with. #showall
Setting the scene for the day’s conversation, the opening research keynote from Wood Mackenzie’s energy access sector expert will tell an exclusive data-driven story of the major trends in the off-grid energy access markets.
Providing a deep dive on finance and policy trends impacting the sector today, this presentation will outline the role and impact of the customer-centric utility business model evolution happening at the last mile, including the future of capital raising, business models, and sectoral growth for the mini-grids and solar home systems. #showall
Leading utility-minded global energy players have recognized the opportunity in the next billion customers and many are actively capitalizing companies deploying solutions on the ground. As these strategic relationships proliferate, the question of how these strategic investors can leverage other advantages for their portfolio companies beyond their balance sheet remains.
From leveraging brands and existing customer relationships to sharing distribution channels and assisting with governance and benchmarking, strategic investors have a lot to offer their portfolio companies in the sector.
We will sit down with a leading strategic investor and one of their portfolio companies to delve into the mechanics of their relationship and reveal possible future synergies.
This dialogue will also offer attendees an opportunity to learn more about the pain points off-grid energy access startups are facing, and how the support of strategic investors can be crucial to alleviating them. #showall
Although energy access is often considered a railroad to the last mile, nearly all off-grid households still lack access to far more than just electricity. Leveraging the PAYG business model, strategic investors are keenly interested in expanding service offerings to adjacent products and services like internet and telecoms, financial products and insurance, water, and fast-moving consumer goods.
This represents a massive opportunity for these rural utility businesses: the ability to own the next billion customers, their evolving needs, and their data. But which value-add products and services hold the most commercial potential? How do customer profiles, geography, and technology influence the scalability of each value-stacked product or service? #showall
Moderator: Koen Peters, Executive Director, GOGLA
Like all B2C businesses, SHS providers face a crucial tension between rapidly scaling and acquiring customers and prioritizing deeper customer value. Getting this balance right will impact the creditworthiness of customer portfolios, the stability of future growth, and ultimately, long-run profitability.
This panel will debate that key question and break down key performance indicators for PAYG portfolio performance across the industry. We will also discuss the root causes for some of the higher-profile insolvencies that have recently cropped up in the sector. Are they a natural sign of a maturing market, or a canary in the coal mine for rough times ahead? #showall
This pitch session will showcase leading off-grid energy access 2.0 companies from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and across Sub-Saharan Africa, and their differentiated technologies, strategies, and business models, and how they are learning from the early success and failure stories from the first wave of off-grid energy access startups. #showall
The PAYG business model has rightly been called a ‘strange beast’ for its complicated value chain. Sitting at the intersection of electricity, consumer asset finance, retail hardware, B2B software, last mile distribution and logistics, and more, a vertically-integrated PAYG SHS company has to be a jack of all trades – but are they masters of none?
Leading players in this space will weigh the benefits and risks of vertical integration in the sector and discuss if unbundling will drive the next wave of flexible growth and corporate profitability in SHS markets. #showall
The intersection of IoT and tech R&D, system affordability and quality, and scalability.
This discussion will focus on how to optimize system design and business models to foster productive uses of electricity with industrial and small and medium enterprises as offtakers.
They will also focus on how to account for customer load growth potential, stimulate demand, and ensure system reliability and bankability for remote mini-grids in various contexts across the emerging world. #showall
Moderator: Ben Good, CEO, Energy 4 Impact
Digital tools can drastically reduce friction during the phases of mini-grid project development, balance supply and peak loads, automate bill collection and customer credit measurement, and enhance customer relationship management and improve repayment and retention rates.
Delegates will hear from some of the sector’s leaders in advanced digitized solutions for the mini-grid sector and discuss issues around cost and scale, as well as other possible revenue streams from customer data and consumer data privacy concerns. #showall
The mini-grid sector faces systemic issues in order to reach commercial scale, and currently less than 15 percent of corporate-level investment in off-grid energy access goes to mini-grids. Results-based financing mechanisms may offer a well-designed incentive for developers to build capital-intensive infrastructure in last-mile contexts.
Leading mini-grid companies will break down the granular regulatory necessities for a bankable enabling environment for new systems, technology trends and coming cost declines that could boost returns, discuss new market opportunities as the policy landscape evolves, and debate the role of system standardization in scaling up mini-grids, particularly under RBF programs. #showall
Moderator: William Brent, Director, Power For All
It is no secret that creative financing structures will be necessary for the off-grid energy access sector to continue to grow.
During this final industry roundtable, we will bring together innovative investors working in both the SHS and mini-grid segments to discuss topics like securitizing receivables, blended finance schemes and advanced structured debt products, crowdfunding, local currency deals and FX risk, and how commercial investors, DFIs, and foundations can coexist beneficially in the same market as it matures. #showall