Best Practices for Electrifying Rural Health Care Facilities with Decentralised Renewables

28 July 2020 | Sustainable, reliable and modern energy services are prerequisites for providing health care services around the globe. While the struggle of rural communities to access health services has always been a critical issue, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the essential role of electricity for health care in rural areas. 

Against this emergency background, decentralised renewable energy solutions offer the cleanest, cheapest and smartest solution to electrify rural health care facilities in most cases. Decentralised renewable energy is not just an essential pillar to empower health care facilities and vulnerable citizens in their fight against COVID-19, but also a promising catalyst to power tomorrow’s clean infrastructure and speed up post-disease socio-economic recovery.

With the objective of sharing evidence and lessons learnt on the ability of decentralised renewables to fast-track delivery of sustainable and reliable power for rural health facilities in emerging countries, ARE, supported by GET.invest, has collected 16 relevant case studies with best practices from ARE members, as well as core recommendations for international funding partners, philantropies and governments in the publication ‘Best Practices for Electrifying Rural Health Care Facilities with Decentralised Renewables’, launched during the webinar Funding & Fast-tracking Health Facility Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The publication aims to:

  • Demonstrate the ability of decentralised renewable energy solutions to quickly deliver sustainable, quality power for rural health care facilities, which in turn can help increase investments in such projects;
  • Serve as inspiration for new decentralised renewable energy projects, able to support vulnerable communities in their fight against and posterior recovery to the global sanitary crisis.


The publication features case studies from Zambia, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Eritrea, Malawi, Chile, Nigeria, Togo, Colombia, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

In view of the case studies and ARE’s own observations, it appears that projects to electrify rural health care facilities must combine speed and scale of delivery in the short term, with project sustainability and longevity in the long term. The sense of urgency caused by health crisis like pandemics indeed underlines the need for an immediate response.

While the case studies demonstrate there are many ways to electrify health care facilities, ARE finds that the short and long term goals are best met through a public private partnership delivery model that combines smart grants with a market-based compensation mechanism.

More information about proposed funding and delivery alongside key recommendations can be found in ‘Best Practices for Electrifying Rural Health Care Facilities with Decentralised Renewables’, available for download.