The last frontier for energy access

The renewable energy opportunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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This paper discusses current opportunities and barriers to the development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) solar industry. It looks at the potential of public-private initiatives in helping move the industry to scale.

The DRC offers a tremendous opportunity for companies operating in the off-grid solar (OGS) sector. It has a large population, high solar potential and limited existing energy access.

However, few OGS companies have entered the DRC citing the unstable political and economic environment as a barrier to investment in the power sector, including off-grid electrification.

ELAN RDC has focused on helping enterprises access the investment and working capital they need to grow their businesses and reach consumers. They have seen that simple guarantee systems work well in building confidence between international technology providers and local distributors - mitigating much of the risk of providing products on concession.

This, together with the need to increase consumer awareness of the advantages of solar products, provides is a real opportunity to realise the full potential of the market.