“Africa is the land of opportunity for investors in decentralized off-grid solar, and two big deals in the past week suggest the market will continue to consolidate and scale up to address the continent’s 600 million people without reliable electricity.
Last week, Japan’s Mitsubishi put $50 million into U.K.-based BBOXX, a provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems with a strong presence in sub-Saharan Africa. Days later French energy giant Engie acquired Mobisol, a leading home solar provider in East Africa, building on Engie’s long list of investments in the off-grid sector.
The Mobisol and Bboxx deals “demonstrate that utility-minded strategic investors continue to see a crystal-clear value proposition in becoming a utility of the future to last-mile customers,” said Benjamin Attia, an analyst in WoodMac’s Power & Renewables practice.
“Off-grid households lack access to far more than just electricity,” Attia said. “The potential to evolve the utility business model again to go beyond source-to-sink electricity service provision with the next billion customers is incredibly attractive.”…”