Off-grid electricity production from renewables, although largely unrecorded in most countries, is believed to be expanding rapidly. By combining information from surveys, administrative data and desk research, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has attempted to illuminate major trends in off-grid renewable energy deployment around the world.
This publication presents statistics for the decade 2012-2021 in trilingual tables, covering off-grid power capacity, biogas production and numbers of people using off-grid power and biogas for cooking and lighting. Off-grid renewable power can come from a variety of sources, ranging from large isolated power grids to solar lights and solar home systems. In addition to households, off-grid renewables provide power for water pumping, street lighting, telecommunications towers, rural schools and clinics, as well as for remote commercial and industrial facilities and other uses.
The capacity figures presented here do not cover all the off-grid power sources reported in IRENA’s annual capacity statistics. They do, however, provide more detail on the end-uses of some types of off-grid renewable power, along with information about the numbers of people using such sources of power. The sources and methodologies used to compile this data are explained in Measurement and estimation of off-grid solar, hydro and biogas energy (IRENA, 2018).