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32 Practical Tips for Sustainable Off-Grid Business

Best articles of two years Sun-Connect

Sun-Connect News publishes since 2012 practice-relevant articles from renowned in-ternational authors of the off-grid business. With more than 6,500 recipients of its regular newsletter, Sun-Connect News is one of the largest information media of this young industry.

32 articles were selected for the present anthology, covering the entire spectrum of the off-grid business. The contributions do not provide a comprehensive handbook, but give suggestions, hints and tips. Some essays are also challenging, stimulate in-depth discussion or opposition. And that’s how it should be because the off-grid industry is still young and cutting its own path. To this end, also the controversial discussion of different points of view is important.


The Market

1. No grid? No problem!

2. Off-grid electrification: USD 136 billion market potential 

3. Electricity without the grid

4. What is the strongest driving force for off-grid electrification?

5. Independency from grid: the power revolution for developed and 

developing countries

Customer Demands

6. The “we know what the poor need” attitude

7. Why solar lanterns cannot fulfill the aspirations of the world’s energy poor

8. How consumer values drive purchases. Seven key lessons learned from market

9. Don’t confuse what people supposedly need with what they actually want!

10. Poor people are not impecunious!

Business Strategies

11. The five big “A” of the off-grid electrification

12. The new phase in rural electrification: Holistic, hybrid, customer oriented

13. Burn your business plan! Tips for a sustainable solar business 

14. Projectitis is curable!

15. Good news: the hype of solar lanterns seems to come to an end!

16. Four lessons Pakistan’s off-grid solar market can teach the world


17. Sun-Connect eG: a new cooperative to finance off-grid energy

18. M-SOLAR: Software to manage end user credits

19. Crowdfunding in the energy access space

20. The Availability bias of investors. Or: Why you  shouldn’t use a map 

of Hong Kong in Paris

21. Awarding of microcredits for solar products. Eight tips

22. Going “All in” on solar finance: How IDCOL incubates a growing industry 

in Bangladesh

Customer Relations

23. The importance of after sales service

24. Customer relationship: practical tips for off-grid entrepreneurs

25. Non-replaceable batteries in solar lamps: planned obsolescence?

26. Customer’s trust: The real gold of a rural solar business

27. Dealing with solar products: 5 tips for user training

28. User Forums: A powerful and innovative tool for connecting 

with rural end users


29. How to scale impact? Which impact? And how to measure?

30. Does off-grid solar energy really only have positive impacts?

31. Business for a social good? How many CSR projects don’t have 

sustainable impact

32. Social impact meets environmental responsibility

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