On 28-29 May 2018, the Efficiency for Access Coalition hosted a “Global Market Development Roundtable” in Amsterdam to discuss opportunities to advance markets for off- and weak-grid refrigeration.
The two-day workshop took place ahead of the 2018 GOGLA annual general meeting. This setting provided an opportunity to engage a variety industry leaders including product designers, manufacturers of both on- and off-grid appliances, distributors, PAYGO solar home system providers, and other development and technology specialists.
Coalition members recognise the latent demand for more and greater modern energy services and are seizing this opportunity to scale up markets and reduce prices for new super-efficient products (including fans, televisions, refrigerators, water pumps, and more), supporting technology innovation, and improving sector coordination.
Highly energy-efficient, affordable, and appropriately designed refrigerators hold unique potential to improve livelihoods and achieve broader development impacts in off- and weak-grid communities. Access to refrigeration can facilitate income-generating activities, prolong the shelf life of fresh foods, diversify and enhance diets, and reduce time spent shopping or preparing food (particularly for women and girls). In addition, 28% of food produced in the developing world is wasted and improved access to cold chain technologies could help avoid nearly a quarter of that waste.
The global market for off-grid refrigeration is in the early stages of development, but the commercial opportunity is significant. A 2016 study by Global LEAP estimated that the annual market for off- and weak-grid refrigerators could be $1.1 billion. However, overall market penetration remains low – less than 40% in Nigeria and 30% in India – and is even lower in rural areas at just 6% in Bangladesh and 1% in Kenya.