Sambodhi > Clean Energy > Assessing the Energy Access Space in Afghanistan and Developing an Energy Access Program

Assessing the Energy Access Space in Afghanistan and Developing an Energy Access Program

International Finance Corporation – Afghanistan has been working towards encouraging investments in off-grid small-scale renewable energy technologies to make energy accessible to all. The program’s first phase focused on solar home systems and water heaters. Now, it plans to expand to other renewable energy solutions such as solar pumping, water purification systems, etc. The target markets are urban, peri-urban, rural households, and small enterprises which are not connected to the central electricity grid. 

This study’s objective has been to evaluate the potential of developing an energy access program exploiting renewable sources. Furthermore, it includes the development of an initial concept for a Solar Home Systems (SHS) program to establish a functioning market for the supply, after-sales servicing, and financing of such systems in the off-grid areas of Afghanistan.

Sambodhi has been assessing the consumer side of the market for off-grid solar lighting, Solar Home Systems (SHS), and Solar Water Heaters (SWH). Some factors that are being studied under this assessment are:

  • demographics, 
  • socio-economic profiles, 
  • current non-grid lightings, 
  • mobile phone charging practices, 
  • current non-grid water heating systems market, 
  • awareness and perception of solar systems, 
  • preferences and price points for solar (lighting and SWH) products, 
  • social or cultural factors influencing consumer perception, 
  • buying behavior and usage patterns, 
  • usage of media, and 
  • overall market potential.

The study adopted a cross-sectional design spread across rural and urban areas. A quantitative tool is being administered in 1,600 households to gather information on the above areas of inquiry. 20 key informant qualitative interviews/focused group discussions will also be used to understand the “hows” and “whys” of the usage of solar products.