Portfolio Learning

Exploring the opportunities and impact of sustainable batteries in East Africa

Piles of Aceleron batteries

Although battery usage across Africa has been increasing in recent years and has contributed significantly to the rise of electricity access in Africa from 25% to 47% of the population, key challenges still need to be addressed in order to serve the remaining 600 million people who lack access to electricity.

The high cost of batteries and the large amount of waste created when they reach their end of life – some much earlier than expected – increases the overall cost of ownership of the battery and reduces the reliability of the solution. In order to address the “energy trilemma”, all battery solutions must find a balance between sustainability, reliability and affordability.

SF partner Aceleron has taken on the challenges of improving access to services for rural Africans by reducing the cost of ownership of e-mobility for taxi-driving and by ensuring consistent access to energy for productive use through the use of novel mini-grids.

A report was commissioned by Aceleron and Shell Foundation, co-funded by UK aid from the UK Government, as part of the Transforming Energy Access platform. The objective of this research was to test the feasibility of second-life battery packs in larger standalone productive use and mini-grid settings. The findings outlined in this report provide promising data to confirm second-life batteries are feasible in these settings and can provide benefits to local people.

Read the report.