Productive Use

Selected general productive use resources compiled by MIT D-Lab energy researchers.


Increased energy access may not always directly lead to improved livelihoods and economic development. The productive use of energy - including electricity, heat, and mechanical power - is aimed at enhancing income generation opportunities and productivity. Examples include healthcare, agricultural, educational, business, and industrial activities that would not be possible without the input of energy.

General Information and Specific Technologies

Energypedia's Productive Use Portal and list of articles

GIZ Catalogue of DC-Appliances: 140 factsheets for DV appliances designed to be to be powered by off-grid solar, including equipment for:

  • Livestock breeding
  • Water pumping
  • Food processing and milling
  • Food storage, refrigeration, and freezing
  • Workshop tools, sewing machines, and washing machines
  • Media, entertainment, and office equipment
  • Haircutting and personal care

Mangoo marketplace: Database of Off-Grid components and appliances

  • Fans
  • Refrigerators 
  • Fridges
  • Pumps
  • Radios
  • TV
  • LED bulbs
  • Solar lighting and power


Alliance for Rural Electrification - The Productive Use of Renewable Energy in Africa

ESMAP - Maximizing the Productive Uses of Electricity

IRENA - Solar Pumping for Irrigation

Global Leap Research and Market IntelligenceThe PRODUSE Manual is a guide for designing and implementing activities to promote the productive use of energy.