Power for All and SEforALL, in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute, launched a new report, “Why Wait?: Seizing the Energy Access Dividend” at COP23. The report puts forward the first framework to measure the benefits that countries can expect by providing electricity access to populations more quickly. Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya were profiled in the report. The energy access dividend was covered by Thomson Reuters and other media, while further perspective was provided in opinion pieces by Power for All CEO Kristina Skierka in the Huffington Post and by SEforALL CEO Rachel Kyte, who wrote for Devex.
As part of a steering committee organized by Hivos, Practical Action, wPower and Power for All, three new energy access working groups have been established in Kenya: the Emerging Opportunities Working Group, the Gender Empowerment Working group, and the Research, Policy and Communications Working group. The main objective of the working groups is to create and agree upon joint advocacy messaging to advance the sector in Kenya, identify critical national-level working groups that need our voices, and identify the gaps in communication materials needed to make the case for DRE.
Power for All's director of research Dr. Rebekah Shirley chaired the inaugural convening of the Research and Policy and Communications Working Group, which will support coordinated, organized, efficient activity among research partners in Kenya with the aim of faster action, faster universal energy access delivery and faster impact realization. Over 15 different institutions were represented, from policy think tanks like ACTS to universities like University of Nairobi and Strathmore, to industry associations like KEREA and others like Energy4Impact, GIZ and the World Energy Council.
On the media front, following a negative article in The Economist on the energy access situation in India in May, "Cheap illumination benefits in remote areas may be limited", Power for All, working with campaign partners including GOGLA and Rockefeller Foundation’s Smart Power for Rural Development, coordinated a briefing for editors at the publication, which was reflected in a new article that was far more positive: Africa might leapfrog straight to cheap renewable electricity and mini-grids.
In Nigeria, our campaign director Ify Malo and head of communications Mark Amaza weighed in on a new policy allowing companies that generate electricity to sell directly to consumers, which is expected to increase investment in the DRE sector. Power for All will also be participating in a major mini-grid event in Abuja in December, Upscaling Mini Grids for Low Cost and Timely Access to Electricity, which should be an important milestone for advancing the sector. Campaign CEO Kristina Skierka recently visited the Nigeria team to plan for 2018.
In India, Power for All secured a number of stories highlighting the country’s leadership, including a an article that appeared on the SDG Knowledge Hub, India: Interlinking the SDGs with Electricity Access, as well as a couple of pieces in Greentech Media, Decentralization is the Easiest Way to Expand Energy Access in India, Says IEA and Can India Lead Global Mini-Grid Market like China Did with Solar PV?
The campaign is also pleased to welcome several new partners, including the Africa Mini-grid Developers Association, Frontier Markets and Trama TechnoAmbiental.