Off-Grid Solutions: Increasing Access for More People
Research suggests that off-grid electricity expansion is likely to be more effective in increasing electricity access for more people in Papua New Guinea (PNG) than on-grid solutions.
PNG’s population is mainly rural, and 96 % do not have access to electricity. Thus, targeting this 96 % without access to power is the best way to achieve the greatest increase in access for the greatest number.
Extending the existing grid to these populations would be logistically difficult and very expensive. Off-grid electricity generation through micro-hydro, and small scale solar and biomass facilities would be a much more effective way to get electricity access to these rural locations.
Micro-hydro would be more suitable in mountain locations with nearby access to fast running waterways. Small solar panels could be developed for hospitals, schools, and administrative buildings, and small biomass facilities would work well in areas with high agricultural output.
Image above: Solar power in the Australian bush