Opinion: low cost, high capacity

The first time I heard the phrase, low cost, high capacity, was at a town hall meeting at my place of work. The term is used to refer to projects that involve improving and or increasing the working dimensions of a manufacturing vessel(s), as opposed to investing to replace the vessel(s) entirely, thereby reducing the cost. I found this concept interesting and wondered if this philosophy can be applied in energy development in Africa.

Often times, it is expressed that large budget energy projects are needed to help bring energy development to the continent. Now I do not disagree with that, but what about small-scale projects? Projects that are aimed to bring sustainable development to a community as opposed to a large group of communities. The large scale projects can be designed to meet energy demands of the highly-populated areas, and the small-scale projects can be used perhaps to supply the energy demands of the lesser number population, i.e the off-grid population.

Any thoughts?