Powering the Last Billion: The Technologies That Are Electrifying the Developing World

December 11, 2017 | State of the Market Report

Approximately 1 billion people live without access to electricity today, and bringing power to the last billion is the single largest initiative for many governments. Particularly in regions of the developing world, the solution to this problem is still up for debate. In this report, we provide an overview of rural electrification, including both the technology approaches and the regions seeking electrification. We segment technology approaches into three types, examining the unique features of each through case studies, and we find that the right technology solution depends heavily on the characteristics of the region being electrified.

Coverage Area

  • Owning the Energy Transition

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    Technologies like solar home systems and diesel generators leave gaps for innovation in bringing electricity to a billion people worldwide.
  • Analysis
    Power supply technologies that are bringing electricity to the developing world can be grouped in three types, with each allowing for increasing similarity to developed world power grids.
  • Outlook

Lead Analyst

Max Halik
Senior Research Associate


Katrina Westerhof
Tyler Ogden