What future does integrated energy hold for utilities?

Tue, July 27th, 2021

Alone, neither centralized nor decentralized energy is purpose-built to end energy poverty at scale. Integrated energy approach through public-private partnerships can accelerate energy access through faster and lower-cost electrification and advance productive use of energy. However, regulatory and finance interventions are needed to transform national energy systems into robust networks that can deliver reliable, affordable, universal access for all.

Time is fast running out to end energy poverty

Fri, July 30th, 2021

Despite the remarkable growth in rural electrification over the last decade, the world is falling short of its sustainable energy goals. Lack of access to energy impedes both economic and human development. In an urgent call to action ahead of summits on energy and climate, the co-facilitators of the SDG7 Technical Advisory Group assert that we must radically accelerate the pace of scaling energy access to create a more resilient, equitable and sustainable future.

Why aren't we out of business yet?

Tue, May 25th, 2021

When we started in 2015, we hoped the world would have achieved universal energy access by now and we would be out of business by our 6th birthday. What has become even more clear during the pandemic, however, is the need for a paradigm shift in how we view collaboration. Our campaign coordinators reflect on their experiences during the crisis, and what it means for the future.

Unlocking clean energy to transform food systems

Thu, April 29th, 2021

With less than 10 years left to end hunger and energy poverty, the world is far off track, write UN Food Systems Summit special envoy Agnes Kalibata and Power for All CEO Kristina Skiera. 2021 offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the food and renewable energy sectors to commit to an ambitious action agenda in service of the SDGs and our shared objectives on climate and a green recovery.

21 women in energy access you should know about

Thu, March 25th, 2021

Women can and do play a critical role in scaling energy access due to their local knowledge and leadership. Power for All is taking action by sharing profiles of exceptional women who are at the forefront of scaling energy access, yet are unknown to the outside world. From Sierra Leone, Nepal to Haiti, meet 21 women making a difference.

Youth and clean energy jobs

Wed, February 17th, 2021

To be successful, the energy transition will require a generational transition as well. New ideas, new leadership, and new opportunities depend on putting young people at the center of shaping the future of energy systems in Africa and Asia. The time for business-as-usual approaches is ending, as we take the first steps toward the next energy generation and a new legacy.

Top 10 energy access trends to watch in 2021

Mon, January 25th, 2021

Our annual energy access trends forecast is out! 2021 is a critical year on many fronts: food systems, healthcare, economic recovery and job creation, climate action, and much more. Decentralized renewables will have a major role to play in all of them. In our annual energy access trends forecast, we consulted multiple sources and identified what are the market movers that will drive progress in energy access finance, technology, policy and capacity.

Digital divide isn't just a technology issue

Thu, November 19th, 2020

An estimated1.3 billion pupils have experienced school closures across 186 countries due to COVID-19. Millions of children in Africa and Asia do not have access to digital learning devices or even electricity. As we mark this year’s World Children’s Day, off-grid energy technologies are urgently needed to ensure learning continuity for every child.

Food and energy: why bother?

Thu, October 15th, 2020

Achieving food security, economic development and poverty reduction remain elusive goals without sustainable energy access. As we mark World Food Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, FAO, Khethworks, Krishi Star, IFPRI and others weigh in on the opportunities for building climate-smart local food systems that grow rural economies and reduce food insecurity.

How can we rescue the energy access sector?

Thu, September 17th, 2020

A decade of progress in ending energy poverty is in jeopardy because of the coronavisus pandemic. In this special issue, sector leaders from SEforALL, EnDev, Ashden, 60 Decibels, ACE TAF, AMDA and Power for All reflect on not only what's needed immediately to save struggling companies and consumers, but how we set a strategy for success in the coming decade.

Summer reading: Our most popular content

Fri, July 31st, 2020

To mark our 50th newsletter, Power for All tracked down the content you liked most, and decided it was worth resharing. So if you're looking for some summer reading on integrated energy, job creation, India, etc., here's your chance. And don't forget: we're always looking for compelling stories and data for our next 50 issues, so get in touch!

Scaling energy access through inovation

Thu, June 25th, 2020

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the global engine of innovation and job creation. On MSME Day, learn about the state of energy access entrepreneurship in Africa and Asia, how disruptive ingenuity is accelerating SDG7, and why financial and technical support for innovation must be redoubled post-pandemic.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Thu, May 21st, 2020

Power for All was launched 5 years ago today on May 21, 2015. It's a time to celebrate, but also a time to reflect. We face great disruption in the world, compounded by an unprecedented health crisis. Our CEO Kristina Skierka writes about Power for All's incredible journey, our successes and struggles, and explores the road ahead for the decentralized renewable energy sector.

COVID-19 & DRE Roundup

Thu, April 23rd, 2020

Power for All has created a comprehensive COVID-19 round-up that highlights the response by the decentralized renewable energy sector, including new recovery funding and technical assistance opportunities, but also what steps are being taken to accelerate electrification of rural health facilities.

The other health crisis

Fri, March 20th, 2020

An estimated 400 million people depend on health facilities that have no access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. A further 100 million are pushed into poverty every year as a result of health care expenditures. Is coronavirus the real threat to global health?

#Womenergy: the time is now

Tue, February 25th, 2020

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration for women's empowerment. Since then, inroads have been made in the energy access sector, but still women represent only about 25% of formal jobs in the decentralized renewable energy sector. What is needed to create an inclusive energy transition between now and 2030?

Top trends for energy access in 2020

Thu, January 23rd, 2020

As we enter a new decade, there are just ten years left in which to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The decentralized renewable energy sector has gone through a tremendous amount of innovation, transformation and increasing impact. Here are some of the key trends in the sector that you need to gear up for.

Decade in review

Fri, December 20th, 2019

What a ride. 10 years ago distributed renewable energy was barely on the map. Fast forward a decade later, and we can rightfully feel proud of the progress we have made on SDG7, and the amazing innovation and impact we have achieved. Without question we must maintain a sense of urgency about doing more, faster, but as we begin the 2020s let's take a moment to celebrate our sector.

C&I solar poised to soar

Tue, November 19th, 2019

Distributed renewable energy solutions for commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses have the potential to lower high electricity prices and enhance power supply in Africa and developing Asia. A huge market for decentralized solar and storage is about to take off.

Cool opportunity: tackling food waste

Tue, October 15th, 2019

More than 40% of food loss in emerging economies occurs during post-harvest and processing. A reliable cold-chain is crucial for food security and improved livelihoods and distributed renewables have a major role to play.

South-South for SDG7

Wed, September 25th, 2019

To deliver on the global promise of the 2030 Agenda and leave no one behind, a much greater amount of cooperation is needed between countries in the Global South, to ensure mutual support and exchange of best practices, facilitate trade and investment and increase the resilience of emerging economies.

Next up, manufacturing

Thu, August 29th, 2019

After a decade of mostly importing from China, a new trend is emerging in Africa and Asia: solar product and mini-grid manufacturers are beginning to set up plants in both continents to expand local markets.

Jobs & Energy Access

Mon, July 29th, 2019

Leading business publication Forbes spotlights how rural electrification in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is not only creating hundreds of thousands of energy sector jobs, but even more jobs in the communities gaining access to power for the first time.

Mini-grid moment...um?

Thu, June 27th, 2019

A group of 12 leading impact and energy investors called for donors to ramp up support for mini-grids in Africa, while 10 Africa governments made a similar appeal. Long an under-performing industry, mini-grids may finally be reaching an inflection point, but a huge finance gap persists. What's needed?

Re-imagining utilities to end energy poverty

Thu, May 30th, 2019

How can decentralized and centralized, public and private solutions work better together to end energy poverty faster? Power for All and a group of leading energy companies recently launched the Utilities 2.0 initiative to find out. The head of Uganda's largest utility Umeme explains why.

Harvesting energy means breaking down silos

Tue, April 30th, 2019

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.

Beyond access: elevating the DRE narrative

Thu, March 28th, 2019

It's time for our sector story to evolve, and we need your help. Acceptance for decentralized renewables has grown, and now we need new focus and new champions to go beyond access. Which is why we are redoubling our story-telling and content co-creation efforts.

Diesel is dying in rural economies: data

Thu, February 28th, 2019

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.

Top trends for energy access in 2019

Wed, January 30th, 2019

2019 offers a range of tantalizing, pivotal possibilities for the distributed renewable energy sector. Power for All takes a look into our crystal ball and makes its annual predictions for some of the top trends to watch in the coming months.

Electrifying Africa's Labor Market

Wed, November 28th, 2018

Energy access offers huge employment potenital, up to 1/5 of the 25 million jobs needed in Africa over the next decade. But only if a large and growing skills gap is closed. Mugo Kabiti of M-KOPA and Gilles Vermot Desroches of Schneider Electric make the case for action.

Getting Productive

Mon, October 29th, 2018

"Productive use" is one of the hottest buzzwords in the world of energy access today, but what does it actually mean? Or more importantly, what should it mean? Jeff Stottlemyer of CLASP offers a refreshing perspective as our sector evolves beyond just lighting.

Is SDG7 Set To Converge?

Sat, September 29th, 2018

Scaling solar induction stoves can help solve access to both electricity and clean cooking. Are we finally on the cusp of a great convergence that brings together the two tracks of SDG7? Power for All explores the opportunity.

Climate-Proofing Electricity Access

Thu, August 30th, 2018

Ahead of global climate discussions starting next month, we must commit to building energy systems in emerging economies that are resilient and secure, and this means putting decentralized renewables front and center, argues investor Alexia Kelly.

Turning Data Into Insight

Wed, August 1st, 2018

Key influencers of energy access lack information about modern distributed technologies, policies and markets. To help bridge this gap, Power for All has launched a new data platform, with a mission to make data accessible, understandable and useable by critical energy influencers.

The New Activists

Wed, June 27th, 2018

A 100% renewable energy future is increasingly possible, in part thanks to a new generation of activists. Evolving campaign models, which are decentralized and can spread to more people more quickly through digital tools, are proving a winning formula for evidence-based, solutions-oriented grassroots activism. May Boeve of 350.org explains.

Nigeria: The Next Big Frontier For Rural Electricity Access

Tue, May 29th, 2018

East Africa has long been a focus of rural electrification in Africa, but all eyes are now turning to Nigeria in the west, as the national leadership, international funders and the private sector unleash a range of federal and state activities to increase deployment of decentralized renewable energy solutions. The stakes are high.

A Case For More "Screen Time"

Wed, April 25th, 2018

The concept of a ‘digital divide’ is about 20 years old. Yet nearly 60% of the world's population is still not connected to the internet. The rise of distributed renewables is changing the connectivity equation - for consumers, telecom companies, schools and health clinics.

When Power is Life or Death

Fri, March 30th, 2018

Access to electricity saves lives. Lack of it can take them. Yet universal healthcare's reliance on energy is still not given enough attention in the fight for sustainable development. Energy underpins modern healthcare, whether through connectivity to telemedicine, safe delivery of babies, or refrigeration of vaccines. The stakes couldn't be higher, and international focus on strengthening health systems must put energy front and center.

Hey Matt Damon, Let's Talk

Wed, February 28th, 2018

Water.org co-founder Matt Damon, you've said solutions "must extend to other places quickly" to solve the global water crisis. We agree, and clean distributed solar is a great answer. With 2018 spotlighting the dual global goals of universal electricity access (SDG7), and universal access to clean water and sanitation (SDG6), now is the time for a water-energy partnership.

Utilities and the Decentralized Pivot

Wed, January 31st, 2018

We haven't won yet. But decentralized renewables are starting to win a meaningful role in the quest for universal electricity access. Building on Power for All's earlier efforts to help development banks and national policymakers understand the opportunity, 2018 will be a time to ensure that utilities are fully embracing the distributed revolution.

Subsidy and Electricity Access

Thu, November 30th, 2017

The private sector has proven that it can deliver electricity access with little or no government support. But for the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 to be met, there is an increasing consensus that subsidy reform is required that gives decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions a level playing field with traditional (and mostly loss-making) business models.

Scaling SDG7 with Data

Tue, October 31st, 2017

Without better evidence and data, the DRE sector will be unable to scale at speed. Power for All created its Platform for Energy Access Knowledge (PEAK) to help fill the void. In this newsletter, our PEAK director Dr. Rebekah Shirley outlines key research initiatives, including a new framework for Utility 2.0, the role of human capacity data in advancing SDG7, the release with SEforALL of a new report, "Why Wait? Seizing the Energy Access Dividend" and much more.

Are Mini-Grids About to Get Really Boring (and Boom)?

Thu, September 28th, 2017

No sexy headlines here. Mini-grids have had enough hype over the years. Now it's time for the boring work of standardization and scale. Much more needs to be done, but there are imporant advances being made in building a vibrant sector that is on a trajectory toward full commercialization. What are the 5 standardizations needed?

India: Ground Zero for Scaling Electricity Access

Wed, August 9th, 2017

India has targeted universal household electrification by as early as May 2018. That's less than 300 days to bring electricity to about 300 million people (more than 1 million per day). The sheer scale of India offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the decentralized renewable energy (DRE)—at home and internationally. What's happening to ensure that, and what's still needed?

The Human Capital Investment: SDG7 and the Renewable Energy Generation

Thu, June 22nd, 2017

7,000 to 20,000 energy enterprises will be needed to scale the distributed solar market and achieve universal electricity access by 2030. But what if we build a market, and there is no one trained to fill the jobs created by those companies? In order to achieve SDG7, we must follow a simultaneous two-track process: addressing both the supply and demand for the human capacity needed to scale DRE.

25x25: A Collaborative Vision to Scale Access

Wed, May 17th, 2017

In order to achieve universal electricity access, a much greater level of collaboration is needed, as is the level of our collective ambition. In our May newsletter, Power for All asks the question: what if we could extend the successes of East Africa to 25 other countries by 2025? Or more? That's what we want to do. If you do too, read on and let's start a movement together

Promise to Progress: A Policy Call to Action

Tue, April 4th, 2017

It’s time to move from promise to progress for decentralized renewable energy (DRE). This week, we launch a groundbreaking report, based on detailed market analysis, which reveals the five policies national governments can adopt to reach universal energy access before 2030. Join Power for All and its partners as we urge policy-makers to take rapid action to end energy poverty. Read the report, 'Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress', and share the key messages in this Call to Action

Designing Energy Markets of the Future

Fri, March 3rd, 2017

The decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector has helped 100 million people gain access to clean energy, saved billions of dollars for families living under the poverty line, and improved health, welfare and education––and it has done so with only limited planning and policy support. So what would success look like with more support, and which policies would make the most difference? Our March newsletter explores the findings of a Power for All DRE company survey on the most effective levers for market growth. In this article, learn which actions practitioners think would turbo charge energy access

Change Minds, Activate Markets

Sat, February 11th, 2017

Accurate data and education about new energy solutions is critical for making informed choices––particularly for energy access. Whether a consumer, policy-maker, business owner, or investor, if you don't know an alternative exists, how can you choose it? Our February newsletter explores how awareness about decentralized renewable energy (DRE) has already helped improve millions of lives, and is vital to ending energy poverty. In this article, learn about community leaders, determined educators, and innovative awareness campaigns that have sparked a shift to DRE.

What's on the Horizon for 2017

Fri, December 16th, 2016

$1 billion in investment, new national and sub-national regions on the rise, utilities with attitude, jobs––and more jobs––and unheralded collaboration. It's all in our December newsletter, as we look across the horizon at what 2017 has in store for decentralized renewable energy (DRE). Take a look at what, where, and who to watch in the year ahead.

Why more power will combat climate change

Thu, November 3rd, 2016

The power that will lift hundreds of millions from energy poverty, is the same power that will help combat climate change: decentralized renewables. As world leaders get ready for COP22, we highlight how distributed technologies can significantly reduce emissions, provide clean energy to the people most vulnerable to climate disruption, and improve resilience in the world's poorest communities. In this article, we explain why replacing kerosene lamps and diesel generators with renewable alternatives has been termed the "low-hanging fruit" of the climate world, and call for rapid action to speed up energy access.

Power to the People

Wed, October 12th, 2016

With so much attention on finance and policy, the decentralized renewable energy sector can sometimes lose sight of what we're all really fighting for: the opportunity for people to live better lives. As a new report from our partner Practical Action reminds us: no one knows this more than the people most affected by energy poverty, and we will only succeed if we learn from and empower those living in energy poor communities. In this article, we profile some of the incredible groups and individuals already leading the way. Read about the pioneering communities who built 1000 micro-hydro plants in Nepal, those at the heart of the Kenyan solar energy boom, and more

SDG7: one year in, are we on the right path?

Wed, September 14th, 2016

In a wake up call to national and international decision makers, the Overseas Development Institute examined the projected progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and found that a 'revolution' is needed to achieve SDG7—clean, affordable, modern energy for all—by 2030. Ahead of the first anniversary of the SDGs on September 25, this newsletter highlights how decentralized renewable energy (DRE) must be at the heart of that revolution, and looks at the critical role national policy must play. Here we provide a sneak peek into early findings from research by our Platform for Energy Access Knowledge team, which identifies the policy levers at the center of strong DRE markets in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Tanzania

Ending Energy Poverty is a Team Challenge

Fri, August 5th, 2016

In this month's Power for All newsletter, we feature some of the pioneering collaborations catalyzing the rapid spread of decentralized renewable energy, and in the process powering improvements in health, education, agriculture and much more. This article spotlights leading multi-stakeholder clean energy initiatives, and the important role of innovative governments. Learn about the programs helping countries meet their development goals

Powering the Next Generation

Fri, July 15th, 2016

Jobs engine? Yes. Business catalyst? Yes. Changing the way we can power the future... absolutely. From Africa to India, banks to bakeries, welding shops to water pumps, reliable power from decentralized renewables is kick-starting businesses and boosting employment. This article shows how clean energy is unlocking innovation and driving the “Micro-Enterprise Economy”

EnergyAccessX: Driving the New Energy Future

Fri, June 10th, 2016

What a month! From the focus on energy at the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings, detailed sessions at the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) Conference, new initiatives such as the Sierra Leone Energy Revolution and much more, the past few weeks have provided an unprecedented opportunity to put forward a compelling new vision for universal electrification. None more so than EnergyAccessX, the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) parallel program on decentralized solutions. Our June newsletter kicks off with an update from the high profile event.

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