Mini-Grid Innovation Lab:
innovating to provide more power,
to more people,
at less cost

OUR RESEARCH

Once an innovation is identified for testing, the Lab defines the hypotheses to be tested and metrics to be tracked in a detailed study design. We publish an Innovation Insight sharing the first meaningful results and then a final report at the study’s end evaluating the impact on the business model.

Appliance Financing
APPLIANCE FINANCING

Offers customers household appliances, such as TVs, fridges, and speakers, on set financing terms to test the impact on customer consumption and developers’ revenues.
Study Design

August 2019 Innovation Insight | NextBillion Article
Appliance Financing productive use
APPLIANCE FINANCING PRODUCTIVE USE

Offers customers productive use appliances, such as grain mills and welders, on set financing terms to test the impact on a mini-grid’s load, customer consumption, and developers’ revenues.

Study Design

bulk
BULK PROCUREMENT

Aggregates developers’ orders for various mini-grid components to negotiate the best deal and procure components in bulk, to test the impact on developers’ capital expenditure.

Study Design

Grid competition
GRID COMPETITION

Subsidizes a mini-grid’s tariffs to compete with main grid tariffs on sites where the main grid has encroached, to test the impact on customers’ choice in power.

Study Design

Grid Densification
GRID DENSIFICATION

Tests the impact of proactively expanding or saturating a mini-grid’s distribution network beyond initial customer demand on developers’ capital expenditure.

Study Design

Wi-fi
INTERNET

Offers customers wifi-, satellite-, or fiber-based internet connections to test the impact on customer consumption and developers’ revenues.

Study Design

Metering
METERING

Tests the hardware and software performance of several smart meters to help developers choose the optimal meter for a given site.

Study Design

modular grid
MODULAR GRIDS: INCREASING CAPACITY MODULARLY

Tests solutions designed to increasing Capacity Modularly tests solutions designed to incrementally increase a mini-grid’s generation and storage capacity on sites where demand for power exceeds supply, to test the impact on developers’ profitability.

Study Design

Tariff Reduction
TARIFF REDUCTION

Subsidizes a mini-grid’s tariffs to test the impact on customer consumption and developers’ revenues.
Study Design

May 2019 Innovation Insight | NextBillion Article