Breakfast & Check-in

Sponsored By:

Welcome and Opening Polls - Getting to Know the Audience

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

Research Keynote - Scaling the Utility of the Future at the Last Mile

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

Benjamin Attia, Research Analyst, Power & Renewables, Wood Mackenzie

Beyond Energy Access: Owning the Next Billion Customers
Much More than Capital: Fireside Chat with a Strategic Investor and a Portfolio Company

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

Valérie Levkov, Vice President Africa, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, EDF

Moderator: Benjamin Attia, Research Analyst, Power & Renewables, Wood Mackenzie

Beyond Electricity: Value Stacking Utility 3.0 Services on Top of the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Value Chain

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

Ademidun Edosomwan, Emerging Markets Lead, Total Ventures
Alain Tales, Program Director, Energy, Orange
Chris Würdemann, Vice President Corporate Finance, Zola International

Moderator: Koen Peters, Executive Director, GOGLA

Networking Break

Sponsored By:

In Pursuit of Stable Growth: Successful PAYG Business Models
Panel: The Path to Profitability for Solar Home Systems: PAYG Successes and Pitfalls

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

Mathilde Girard, Investment Executive, Energy Access & Efficiency, CDC Group
Alistair Gordon, CEO, Lumos
Thomas Duveau, Chief Strategy Officer, A2EI (former Chief Strategy Officer, Mobisol)

Moderator: Benjamin Attia, Research Analyst, Power & Renewables, Wood Mackenzie

Innovation Den: Unique Opportunities and Technologies in the Second Wave of Off-Grid Energy Access Startups

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

Manuel Wiechers, CEO, Iluméxico
Arne van Stiphout, Program Manager, Mee Panyar
Juan García Montes, Co-Founder & CEO, Sunkofa Energy

Networking Lunch
Panel: Implications of Unbundling the PAYG Business Model

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

Leslie Labruto, Head of Global Energy, Acumen
Gema Sánchez Domínguez, Investment Director-Venture Capital, Iberdrola
Emma Hawkins, Director of Corporate Finance, PEG Africa

Taking Off-Grid Energy Capacity to the Next Level: Customer Management and Key Mini-Grid Technologies
Panel: Smart(er) Home Systems: Scaling up Across Africa

The intersection of IoT and tech R&D, system affordability and quality, and scalability.

Christopher Baker-Brian, Chief Technology Officer, BBOXX
Brianna Schuyler, Ph.D., Data Scientist, Fenix International
Mohsen Mohseninia, VP of Market Development, Europe, Aeris

Panel: Demand-Side Business Models for Mini-Grids: Productive Use, Demand Activation, and Rate Design with Anchor-Load Customers

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

Benedikt Lenders, Head of Minigrids, ENGIE Powercorner Africa
Alakesh Chetia, CEO, Yoma Micro Power
Gabriel Davies, Head of Energy Access, CrossBoundary

Moderator: Ben Good, CEO, Energy 4 Impact

Compare & Contrast: Digital Tools as the Foundation for Better Customer Management for Mini-Grids in Emerging Markets

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

Arthur Jacquiau-Chamski, Chief Operating Officer, SparkMeter
Wesley Verne, Chief Technology Officer, SteamaCo

Moderator: Jessica Stephens, COO, Africa Mini-Grid Developers Association

Networking Break
Panel: Results-Based Financing Models as the Key to Enabling Economically Viable Mini-Grids

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

Emily McAteer, CEO/Co-Founder, Odyssey Energy Solutions
Jon Exel, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank Group
Aaron Cheng, President, PowerGen Renewable Energy

Moderator: William Brent, Director, Power For All

Closing the Loop: Making Off-Grid Energy Access Happen
Investment Roundtable: Examining Alternative Financing Vehicles and Assessing Risks

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

Avi Jacobson, Senior Investment Officer, Sunfunder
Ashwin West, Investment Director, African Infrastructure Investment Managers
Murray Birt, Vice President, DWS Group

Moderator: Emily Clark, Director, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Networking Drinks Reception