Advice on Water from Economic Consulting Associates


ECA provides advisory services across a range of topics that promote access to energy for unelectrified households, businesses, and public facilities. Our clients include national government entities (ministries, regulators, utilities, and rural energy agencies), international finance institutions, and private developers and investors.

Our focus areas include:

  • market assessments, feasibility, and bankability studies,
  • electrification strategies for countries or regions within countries,
  • the development of policy and regulatory frameworks and associated institutional structures and capacity development to govern energy access development,
  • the design of financing facilities to support private sector development, and
  • research of nascent trends and best practices.

We have worked extensively in the development of emerging technologies for electrification including electricity mini-grids and solar home systems, where our services have led pioneering thinking in financing and regulatory development, notably in pricing, licensing, and business model innovation. Many assignments include capacity building for public and private stakeholders, building on our consulting expertise to maximise the implementation of the advice we provide.

For more information please contact our practice lead Elena Adamopoulou.

Image of Elena Adamopolous, Managing Consultant at ECA



National electrification strategy development Eswatini

ECA advised the World Bank and Eswatini’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy in the preparation of its national electrification strategy. The approach was based on comprehensive GIS mapping and least-cost electrification planning using various electricity access options and technologies and included institutional and funding options analysis.

Mainstreaming demand stimulation from productive uses of electricity Worldwide

ECA worked with World Bank to prepare an evidence-based toolkit which will help mainstream productive use of electricity (PUE) into electrification programmes around the world, develop a framework to systematically assess PUE interventions, and propose recommendations for scaling-up such interventions across grid, mini-grid, and off-grid solar technologies.

Mini-grids benchmarking report, Africa

ECA has worked with the Africa Mini-grid Developers Association (AMDA) on developing its first two annual flagship benchmarking reports of development and operating costs and performance data for the mini-grid sector in Africa.

Rural electricity cooperatives reform and restructuring, Philippines

ECA assisted the Philippines’ National Electrification Administration with development of a more robust framework for governance, management, financial, and operational improvement of the electricity cooperatives, considering the bulk supply, financing, regulatory and other changes impacting them.

Small-scale irrigation market assessment, East Africa

ECA undertook a market assessment for Grundfos, the world’s largest water pump manufacturers, to identify suitable channels and partnerships to reach smallholder farmers in East Africa. The research focused on opportunities in the off-grid energy sector, notably working with off-grid solar companies and mini-grid developers.

Recommendations on the design of off-grid public funding mechanisms Worldwide

ECA was commissioned by the World Bank to advise on different ways in which public funding can be deployed to support uptake of off-grid solar around the world. The research covered reviews and recommendations on different mechanisms: up-front grants, results-based finance, tax exemptions, credit lines, risk mitigation instruments, demand-side subsidies, and public procurement.

Mini-grids regulatory framework update and implementation, Kenya

ECA worked with EPRA, Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, to update the mini-grid regulations that ECA initially drafted in 2017. The assignment also included activities to facilitate more rapid regulatory approvals, including a review of EPRA’s mini-grid tariff model, an upgrade of EPRA’s website for mini-grid licence applications, and capacity building for EPRA and other stakeholders.

Electrification strategy for public schools, Pakistan

ECA worked on a FCDO-funded project to develop a strategy for providing cost-effective electrical supply systems for schools in in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, Pakistan. The work involved the design of both grid connection and off-grid renewable energy systems, advice on procurement strategies, and the preparation of guidance notes for system operation and maintenance.

Market assessment of standalone solar for productive uses, Uganda

ECA undertook a market assessment of standalone solar for productive uses in Uganda. This research was to support the World Bank in determining whether to expand the scope of their Energy for Rural Transformation Phase III (ERT-3) project to provide financing for this type of products. The study focused primarily on agriculture and on opportunities for solar irrigation and small-scale agricultural processing, but other high-potential commercial and industrial sectors were also identified and explored.

Support to green mini-grid developers, Niger

ECA provided technical assistance to private companies developing renewable energy mini-grids in Niger. Specific activities included (i) training events for mini-grid developers and financiers (on technical, financial, and regulatory aspects); (ii) selection of five projects for additional support (including conducting feasibility studies); (iii) facilitating match-making between projects and international financial support; and (iv) producing a roadmap for scaling up mini-grids for rural electrification.

Mini-grids framework and pre-feasibility studies for The Gambia

ECA was engaged by The Gambia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a two-part assignment focused on the electricity mini-grid sector. In the first part, ECA developed a policy and regulatory framework for mini-grids, including drafting all regulatory documents. In the second part, ECA developed a plan for mini-grids to support national electrification, including GIS analysis and pre-feasibility studies for 10 sites.

Design of results-based financing facility for green mini-grids, Africa

As part of the African Development Bank’s Green Mini-Grids Market Development Programme, ECA proposed financial products and services appropriate for the support of green mini-grid initiatives. In the follow-on phase, ECA designed a pan-African green mini-grid RBF facility, undertook a commercial financiers’ capacity needs assessment and associated training programme, and assessed potential supplier and export credit arrangements and matchmaking functions within the programme.

Design of the Green Mini-Grid Facility, Kenya

ECA was engaged by AFD to design Kenya’s £30 million GMG Facility, the first dedicated green mini-grid financing and technical support facility of its kind. The design of the facility was tailored to the requirements of mini-grid developers and aimed at addressing gaps in the market. As part of the assignment, ECA conducted a market assessment and regulatory review, developed the facility’s pipeline of projects, and provided technical support to the facility’s first recipients.