New paper highlights the critical role of off-grid solar technologies in powering climate adaptation and justice

Off-grid solar is the quickest and least cost way to electrify 55% of the 675 million people living with no energy access today

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Nairobi, 7th September 2023

Today, during the week of the African Climate Summit, GOGLA launched its new paper ‘Powering Climate Adaptation and Justice: The Critical Role of Off-Grid Solar Technologies’ showcasing the climate adaptation potential of 5 off-grid solar technologies.

Off-grid solar is the fastest way to electrify hundreds of millions of the most climate-vulnerable people in the world, who have done the least to contribute to climate change. Solar energy kits (with communications appliances), solar irrigation, solar-powered fans, solar refrigeration units and solar-powered cold storage can help build climate resilience and combat extreme weather events, while reducing emissions. 

Written with the support of the IKEA Foundation, in partnership with Acumen, Efficiency for Access, Ashden and WWF, the paper offers insight into the potential of off-grid solar solutions to power green growth and mitigate the impacts of droughts, floods and storms. 

However, unlocking these benefits will take concerted support from development financiers, governments, philanthropists, and the private sector. The report also shares a call to action to rapidly increase access to off-grid solar solutions to reach energy-poor regions and ensure that those most climate-vulnerable are no longer left behind. 

Key takeaways

  • Almost half a billion people have electricity access today through off-grid solar solutions and it is the least cost and quickest way to electrify 55% of the 675 million people who don’t have energy access today. 

  • 165 M people have been reached by solar-powered information appliances giving them better access to information on weather events, regenerative agriculture practices and public health announcements.

  • Off-grid solar tech is already being used by 10 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and supporting an estimated 370.000 FTEs.

  • Solar water pumps boost crop yields without, with better irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa potentially leading to 50% improvement in agricultural productivity with low-carbon growth.

  • Solar cold storage solutions could contribute to minimising the 37% food loss unintentionally lost between harvest and distribution in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Solar-powered space cooling has the potential to reach 318 million people without access to electricity in areas of extreme heat. High-performing fans are already reaching 7.5 million people, providing significant comfort benefits and an average increase of productivity of 2:20 working hours

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If we want to ensure that we ‘leave no one behind’ and achieve a sustainable and inclusive clean energy transition, getting modern electricity to the 675 million people still living in the dark must be a priority. Thomas Opande, Lead Africa Energy Access Initiative, WWF

For over a billion of the world’s poorest people, the clean energy transition has the potential to help modernise agriculture, catalyse enterprise and power life-saving health services: radically transforming their welfare and opportunities. Now imagine we don’t do that. ‘Missed opportunity’ doesn’t come close to describing what we’d lose. Hon. Okasaai Opolot Sidronius, Minister of State for Energy, Uganda

Those least responsible for climate change are the worst affected by it. We must give them the tools they need to combat the droughts, floods and storms that they are already suffering. Today. Patrick Tonui, Head of Policy and Regional Strategy, GOGLA


GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. We are proud to champion one of the world’s most innovative and impactful sectors. Hundreds of millions of people already benefit from affordable, high-quality, clean off-grid solar products and services. 

With the right support, our pioneering industry will be able to scale up rapidly to improve the lives of 1 billion people by 2030. To help make this happen, we promote, safeguard, and convene the industry, advocating for enabling policies and increased investment as well as supporting our 200+ members with effective services. 

To find out more, visit

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant-making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. 

Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.8 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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