A new report has cited that the sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity metering market will see the fastest growth of any region in the world over the next decade.
A new report reckons that second to mobile phones, the electricity metering is the market to watch in Nigeria and several other sub-Saharan African economies.
The total market will reach 63.3 million electricity meters and its value will grow 234% to $9.9 billion cumulatively by 2024, according to a new study from Northeast Group.
African countries’ high GDP growth rates, ambitious electrification programmes and progressive deployments of prepaid metering will drive the market.
“Metering is critical for the future of Africa’s utilities and those without access to electricity,” Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group said.
According to him, “nearly $300 billion of investment is needed to bring electricity to those in Africa currently lacking it. Utilities cannot build out and maintain electric infrastructure if they are unable to meter and collect revenue from customers. Metering is a prerequisite for utilities across the continent to achieve financial sustainability.”
Funding for Africa’s power sector will come from a combination of local utilities, multilateral organisations, and bilateral aid. Most notably, the US government’s Power Africa initiative, launched in 2013, has promised over $7 billion in funding for electricity projects on the continent, with additional private sector funding.
More effective metering and revenue collection will ensure that these investments are sustainable over the long term, according to the Northeast Group which reckons that prepaid meters will make up the majority of the metering market by 2020. These function in an analogous way to prepaid mobile phones. Both utilities and customers benefit from prepaid metering.
“After mobile phones, electricity metering is the next big prepaid market in Africa,” said Gardner. “Utilities use prepaid metering to improve their revenue collection so they can invest in their infrastructure to improve its reliability. Consumers also benefit through greater awareness of their electricity usage, more accurate bills and the ability to budget more effectively.”