2 billion smallholder farmers are among the most underserved populations in the world. Better access to clean energy has the ability to transform agriculture and speed econonic development, says Factor[e], but financial, operational, technical, and policy barriers need to be overcome.
Long the only choice for off-grid, under-the-grid and back-up power generation in emerging economies, diesel is now on a death watch with the rise of renewable-powered machinery, growing solar adoption by rural enterprises, and business and finance innovation. That means billions of dollars saved and gigatons of emissions avoided.
For mini-grids to attract private investment, they require consistent, reliable, and rapidly deployable Results-Based Financing (RBF) programs. This paper was prepared by the signatory investors to present a unified message of support for these RBF programs to donors.
Less than 15% of $1.7 billion of investment in off-grid energy between 2010-2018 went to mini-grids. Yet $10-25 billion is needed annually to bring electricity to 450 million people by 2030 via renewable energy mini-grids. Investors believe the missing catalyst to unlock private capital is results-based finance (RBF).
A series of policy briefs were released recently by UNDESA at a High-Level Dialogue on the Implementation of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2019: A Mid-Point Review. Power for All’s CEO Kristina Skierka joined a panel to discuss the interlinkages between SDG7 and other other SDGs under review this year (SDG 4, SDG 8, SDG 10, SDG 13, SDG 16 and SDG 17). Power for All collaborated closely with IRENA and ILO to develop a policy brief on energy and jobs (one of 16 policy briefs related to SDG7), which were released at the event.
The deployment of off-grid electricity is one important pathway toward reducing energy poverty. Off-grid technology can meet basic needs at an increasingly affordable cost and, when powered by renewable sources, in a clean manner. Yet until recently, we knew little about the current state of affairs: how much capacity do off-grid systems currently provide? And where?
With more than 600 million people lacking access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, off-grid renewable energy has the potential to transform economies and lift millions out of poverty. But green power can do something else, too: it can help solve the continent’s mounting unemployment crisis. A perspective by Mugo Kibati of M-KOPA and Gilles Vermot Desroches of Schneider Electric.
Despite an increase in investment for distributed renewable energy companies over the past 5 years, most of it went to a handful of companies and 93% say they are still trapped in a "Pioneer Gap" between seed and commercial capital. More patient capital is needed. This is according to a recent report, Accelerating Energy Access: The Role of Patient Capital, from campaign partner Acumen.
To improve lender confidence and increase project financial attractiveness, micro-grid developers should reduce the risks of non-steady cash flows through four short-term actionable strategies
Distributed renewables play an increasingly important role in promoting energy access, already accounting for 6 gigawatts of capacity in the developing world, with an expectation of providing over 60% of new electricity connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. New analysis in Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap shows that national governments need two things to succeed in creating markets for distributed renewables: 1) institutional capacity and 2) local accountability mechanisms.
As demonstrated in by new data from IRENA, off-grid renewable electricity has grown tremendously across the world over the last decade, but growth was very uneven. Why was off-grid successful in some places and not others?