Mini Grids and the Arrival of the Main Grid: Lessons from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia

One of the key concerns raised by the developers of mini grids is "what will become of my mini grid when the main grid arrives?" This report presents detailed case studies of what happened to isolated mini grids in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia when the main grid reached their villages. Six possible outcomes are described: 1) conversion to a small power producer (SPP), 2) conversion to a small power distributor (SPD), 3) conversion to a combined SPP and SPD, 4) side-by-side operation of the mini grid and main grid without any physical connection between the two systems, 5) compensation and exit, and 6) abandonment. Each case study describes the regulatory, commercial, and technical characteristics that affected the observed outcomes for the community-owned hydro mini grids in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and the privately-owned diesel mini grids in Cambodia.


Tenenbaum, Bernard W.; Greacen, Chris; Vaghela, Dipti Mulrajsinh. 2018. Mini Grids and the Arrival of the Main Grid: Lessons from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) Technical Report; no. 013/18. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

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