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Campaign update: November 2021

Powering Jobs 2021 Census Launched in 5 Key Countries

Power for All launched its 2021 census for Powering Jobs, in collaboration with key partners - Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA), Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP), Clean Energy Access Network India (CLEAN) and Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) in October 2021.

The survey is collecting responses from companies operating across the DRE spectrum in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia and India. The focus is smaller scale solar which is not utility or grid-connected, and is based on the type of operations (mini-grids, solar home systems, productive systems, etc.) as well as a broad understanding of the value chain (manufacturing, importing, wholesale, and retail sales among other aspects). 

The objective of the study is to provide a continued understanding of the human resource status in the sector. In 2018, the Powering Jobs inaugural census captured decentralised renewable energy (DRE) company employment data, to establish a baseline that explores the linkage between clean, universal energy access, Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) and decent work (SDG 8), with a particular focus on the role of DRE technologies in Kenya, Nigeria and India.

The second census has been expanded to include Uganda and Ethiopia, in addition to the baseline countries. It will provide a vital understanding of the jobs' potential and gaps in the availability of a skilled workforce, to deploy and service DRE systems in these countries. 

We expect the survey to provide rich insights into these 5 markets, particularly in a post pandemic scenario. The report will specifically look at capturing employment data for direct, indirect and induced jobs as well as Productive Use of Energy (PUE) jobs.

Energy Empowering Employment - Power For All’s Pavilion Side Event at COP26

Power for All hosted a panel discussion on jobs in the Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) sector at COP26 on Monday November 8th, in Glasgow at 9:30 AM (GMT). The hour-long discussion also covered the productive use of energy - its impact on the overall sector and how this is broader than just direct employment. 

The panel was facilitated by our CEO, Kristina Skierka and showcased conversations with prominent sector leaders - Joseph Nganga, Managing Director of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, Koen Peters, Executive Director of GOGLA, Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of CEEW and Meredith Adler, Executive Director of Student Energy. 

Power for All’s panel discussion at the Blue Zone at COP26 used insights from our 2019 Powering Jobs study and early results from the 2021-22 census, to amplify several compelling issues - the importance of building a human capacity pipeline to enable energy access through DRE, the achievement of energy equity through jobs and the need to attract talent into a field that is growing. The potential for two-fold job creation - both within DRE companies and entrepreneurial opportunities for people who can use energy in productive ways, was also highlighted in the discussions.

Utilities 2.0 to assess impact of an integrated energy approach  in Uganda

In Uganda, Power for All deployed a master survey where 1200 "units'' (which include households, businesses and farmers) were surveyed across three sites of the Mukono region. This survey was deployed to support the research body of work under the Utilities 2.0 pilot which aims to test the impacts of an integrated energy approach and assess if this can result in faster pace of access, lower the cost of access and increase the productive use of energy.

On the 15th of November, the state Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Honorable Okaasai Sidronius Opolot, commissioned a 40kWp mini grid in Kiwumu, Mukono district in Uganda to power 300 households and 60 local businesses. The plant is part of an integrated energy initiative, the Utilities 2.0 Twaake pilot , that unites the centralized power utility company, Umeme Ltd., and several leading Uganda-based distributed renewable energy companies (DREs). The project aims to provide 50 percent of the businesses in Kiwumu with asset financing to assist businesses in accessing technologies that can help them increase income using electricity. Helping customers move beyond simple lighting and phone charging with appliance financing and financial literacy training for their businesses will fuel potential for the pilot project to deliver jobs and improve incomes across both villages. There was also a site visit by Power for All’s CEO Kristina Skierka and a roundtable held to discuss the future  plans of interconnection and the role of an integrated energy roadmap was presented.

Powering Health Media Workshop in Burkina Faso

Power for All organized a media workshop in Burkina Faso on the electrification of rural health facilities on 2nd November in partnership with the Ministry of Energy. This workshop provided an opportunity for journalists in the country to learn more from experts from Power for All and IRENA about why electrifying health facilities is crucial to improving health outcomes and the role that distributed renewable energy plays in making this a reality. Attended by 27 members of the media in person and 6 online, the workshop had a hybrid format and was held in French and English with simultaneous translation. 

Powering Agriculture through Technical Working Groups in Uganda

In Uganda, Agriculture employs an estimated 70% of the population. The sector also provides food, animal feed and industrial raw materials for agro processing. The Powering Agriculture campaign is working with key stakeholders in agriculture and energy sectors to scale agricultural productivity by advancing policy and financial support for productive use of renewable energy in the agri-food systems .

Power for All has convened  a multi-stakeholder platform to foster collaboration amongst actors in the energy and agriculture nexus. Participants meet routinely  to identify and co-create solutions to the barriers to adoption of DREs for Agriculture. Four main Technical Working Groups have been created to address key barriers grouped as; Finance, Knowledge and Awareness, Policy and Business Models.

This month, working groups on Finance, Knowledge and Awareness and Business Models shall meet to develop action plans for eliminating respective bottlenecks to productive use of renewable energy in the agriculture sector.

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