During the second half of 2017, companies selling off-grid solar products reported sales worth $115 million from 4.14 million products sold worldwide, installing around 22 MW of solar panels. Sales volume jumped by 18 percent compared to the first half of the year, according to the latest Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report released by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).
This report includes sales data from 67 off-grid solar companies covering the period of July to December 2017.
In November 2017, Mercom reported on an earlier report by GOGLA and Lighting Global which found that worldwide sales of off-grid solar products declined by 7 percent in the first six months of 2017 compared to the final six months of 2016. The report identified several market drivers that significantly influenced its findings. These included a drought in East Africa, demonetization in India, the increasing commodification of smaller product categories, and a growing amount of poor quality and copied products.
The quality of off-grid products also improved in the second half of 2017, the report observed. The number of people accessing larger systems – which can power multiple lights or appliances such as radios, fans and televisions – has also grown.
“Today, over two million people have access to Tier 2 energy services through off-grid solar products: 350,000 more than in the same period of 2016,” the report noted.
In the second half of 2017, India represented 91 percent of sales volumes and 84 percent of cash sales reported in South Asia, with 1.25 million units sold, and $36.38 million in cash sales, remaining the largest market worldwide by volume of products sold.
The Indian market has seen an increase of 15 percent in sales and a 35 percent increase in revenues from cash sales compared to the first half of 2017, reaching again the figures of the second half of 2016 when the demonetization came into effect negatively impacting the largely cash-based Indian economy.
In an earlier report published by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program, Dalberg Advisors, and GOGLA, in January 2018 it was observed that approximately 130 million off-grid solar products have been sold globally since 2010 in more than 100 countries.