Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, August
8, 2019— A new report by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, says
Papua New Guinea has achieved dramatic growth in the use of off-grid solar
products with 60 percent of households now using solar lighting, compared
to just two percent seven years ago.
The report, Going the Distance: Off-Grid
Lighting Market Dynamics in Papua New Guinea shows Papua New Guinea
has one of the highest rates of use of off grid solar lighting in the developing
world. It’s a move driven by the success of IFC’s Lighting PNG program
which has helped 22 percent of the population – or 1.8 million people
- gain access to off-grid solar lighting and mobile phone charging for
the first time.
Drawing on extensive research in-country,
the report says the market for solar solutions now stands at about US$260
million a year and is expected to grow over the next five years.
“Solar lighting has now effectively
replaced kerosene lamps in homes, which is good for people and the environment,”
said IFC’s Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea, John Vivian. “Solar
lighting represents only the first step in access for people to energy,
so the high penetration of solar lighting is a significant move in
a country where only 13 percent of people are connected to an electricity
The report says the market penetration
of solar products in Papua New Guinea is significantly higher than other
off-grid solar markets such as India, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Seven years ago, most homes in Papua New Guinea relied on firewood, kerosene
and other products for lighting needs, with little ability to charge mobile
“The Lighting PNG program has been
able to spur the market, bringing in global manufacturers and linking them
with local distributors, showing there is a market for off grid solar products
in the country,” said the lead of IFC’s energy advisory program in the
Pacific, Subrata Barman. “To help grow the market responsibly, we are
now working with the government of Papua New Guinea to adopt standards
for off grid solar products as , it’s clear that solar lighting solutions
will continue to play an important role in Papua New Guinea’s overall
The report says the successful growth
of off grid solar lighting in Papua New Guinea can be attributed to a range
of factors, including people having sufficient disposable income, long
term relationships between global manufacturers and local distributors,
effective awareness campaigns across population centers on quality verified
products and the Lighting PNG program.
IFC’s work on energy in Papua New Guinea
is supported by the Australian and New Zealand governments under the Papua
New Guinea Partnership. Under its national plan, Papua New Guinea plans
to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
IFC—a sister organization of the World
Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas
of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in
long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the
private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org
Papua New Guinea Partnership
IFC’s work in Papua New Guinea is guided by the Papua New Guinea Partnership.
Australia, New Zealand and IFC are working together through the Partnership
to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in the Pacific.