Sub-Saharan Africa may forge the future of the global energy transition, with electricity generation driven by a bottom-up approach — dubbed Utility 3.0 — as opposed to the conventional top-down, public utility model system of industrialised nations.

The vast majority — at least 600 million — of Sub-Saharan Africa’s fast-growing and rapidly urbanising population has little or no access to electricity.

Loss-making, resource-strapped, state-owned utilities are unable to invest the estimated $350 billion needed to electrify the region by 2030, according to just-published research from consultancy Wood Mackenzie.