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Building the grid of the future, today.

SOURCE: Gabriel Davies,

The Brookings Institution

Every evening, the sun drops behind the horizon and darkness falls. And, every evening, although 6 billion people reach out and switch on the lights, over 1.2 billion remain off-grid. 

For over 100 years, since Thomas Edison’s coal-fired power station first lit up homes and offices in downtown Manhattan, the power for that light has—for the vast majority—been delivered by the electricity grid. 

But the grid as it is today cannot meet the challenge of delivering power to the 1 billion people who remain without it. 

Delivering power to the final billion will require the grid of the future—combining governments, the private sector, and the technological innovations that are revolutionizing the energy industry as we know it.

The challenge is best illustrated by the 650 million Africans who don’t have access to electricity, and living mainly in remote, rural areas. At the moment, the economics of electrifying those communities are non-viable for three main reasons.