Our head of research Dr. Rebekah Shirley talks to BBC Africa about access to reliable electricity as a prerequisite for economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa's rural areas
Unemployment in the countryside of Sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia is worsening, while nearly 1 billion rural, mostly agrarian people still lack electricity. Providing energy access via decentralized renewables to these communities could turn a double challenge into a huge job creation opportunity.
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).
Our latest video takes a closer look at the potential for decentralized renewables like mini-grids to unlock an explosion of agriculture productivity and jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia.
Our latest video looks at how micro-grids have successfully helped countries bring electricity to their farmers and rural industries. Examples include the United States, Cambodia, and most recently Nigeria.
PEAK is a an interactive platform designed to help aggregate and repackage the best research and information into compelling data-driven stories for the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector.
Private utilities called mini-grids have the potential to bring access to electricity to 450 million people by 2030, helping to end energy poverty while also laying the foundation for rural economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and many others regions and countries.
Our data miniseries looks at the importance of good data, how to unlock it, and how it can be used to effectively make major decisions and benefit big causes.
Electrifying all Nigerians has become a priority in this populous West African country, where approximately 75 million still remain in darkness even as the economy surges ahead in other ways. Now, the power sector is focused on getting safe, reliable energy to the entire population.
Tribal and forest communities in remote parts of the country are turning to renewable energy as a catalyst for delivering better healthcare. Two new videos from SELCO Foundation show the huge impact of distributed solar.
Innovative solutions are emerging to address the interdependence between energy and health. See some of the impactful work happening around the world, bringing electricity to the most remote healthcare facilities.
The ability for distributed solar to deliver clean drinking water and rural sanitation to remote communities is gaining traction, as this video series clearly illustrates.
This mini-grid in Uttar Pradesh isn’t serving a single home. Instead, it is providing power to over 80 small businesses and local entrepreneurs are seeing the pay-off
Smart Power India is pushing the envelope in productive uses of electricity access beyond lighting, such as this Husk Power Systems mini-grid project in Kathkuiyan, Uttar Pradesh. Access to quality, reliable power supply from the mini-grid is ensuring that job training is uninterrupted, giving economic opportunity to local women and youth.
Despite the continued challenges in accessing data, a number of initiatives are making progress in quantifying progress on the SDGs, as well as contributing to better policy-making, such as the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (@Data4SDGs), UN Global Pulse (@UNGlobalPulse) and UN Foundation-based Data2x (@Data2x). For an Africa perspective on the importance of data, watch this overview.
The Smart Power India (SPI) initiative has electrified 8 villages in Jharkhand state with green mini-grids. Women who earn a living from processing rice are now using electric hullers and fans to hull and winnow rice, and the impact has been huge: the amount of rice hulled daily has increased 100x from 20kg to 2,000kg.
The narrative for the contribution of distributed renewables to Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) has centered around lighting and phone charging for the past 10 years.
1.2 billion people around the world are living still living without access energy, yet two-thirds of them are within mobile network coverage. As the rapid growth of the mobile industry is outpacing the slow extension of the energy grid in many developing countries, mobile is providing new pathways to delivery key services such as energy.
Below is a series of thematic videos from India that highlight some of the leading work being done across the sector:
Schneider Electric has pledged to train 1 million people as renewable energy technicians by 2025. This video explains their Access to Energy effort and their success so far in training more than 100,000. In October last year, Schneider signed an MoU with India to establish a center to train trainers and to setup not less than 100 vocational centers to train, in particular, unemployed youth in the field of energy management and solar energy. In April 2017, they also set up a training center in Ivory Coast. For more perspective, also check out our previous interview with Schneider's Thomas Andre on the need for capacity building.
Power for All launched "Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress", a new policy-focused Call to Action at the SEforALL Forum, and two of the co-authors of the report, Rebekah Shirley and Kristina Skierka, discussed the findings during a Facebook Live session during the Forum. Learn what policy levers correlate to high-growth of decentralized renewable energy, and how governments can embrace and implement necessary reform that leads to universal electricity access.
Zimbabwe has a national electrification rate of 40%. Its ageing electricity grid infrastructure, which has suffered from years of underinvestment, is currently dependent on power imported from South Africa. Despite efforts being made to expand the grid’ generation capacity, population growth and energy demand are growing fast and the grid is failing to keep pace.
The Power for All panel at the Africa Energy Indaba 2017 brought together some of the sharpest minds in the sector to ask: "How far and fast will distributed renewables go?". The result was a conversation that challenged the status quo.
Reaching new audiences, and engaging rural communities is not always easy—but these videos and visuals show how consumer awareness campaigns and materials have helped millions learn about clean distributed energy solutions.
With the reduced cost of renewable technologies and rising innovation, micro-grids are a growing opportunity in emerging markets, one which is already reducing fuel consumption, lowering emissions and driving energy access. It is an opportunity that has not been missed by Caterpillar.
"Bangladesh is now installing solar PV systems at the rate of two per minute, 24 hours a day". As part of his inspiring TED talk this year, Al Gore highlighted the key role of distributed solutions in ending energy poverty, and blazing the path to a sustainable future.
In this webinar, hosted by the Clean Energy Solutions Center, we join forces with REN21 to profile key findings of the 2016 Global Status Report, share updates on the Power for All campaign, and answer questions on the Sierra Leone Energy Revolution, Energy Africa compacts and more.
Following the launch of our latest report Decentralized Renewables: The Fast Track to Energy Access at the African Development Bank Annual General Meetings, Aaron Leopold, Deputy Director of Global Advocacy spoke live from Lusaka to CNBC Africa, while Cheidza Mazaiwana, Zimbabwe Campaign Director, highlighted to Business Incorporated how decentralized renewables are combating the country's energy crisis. Watch the interviews below and join the call to action.
At the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) annual meeting in Nairobi in May, we interviewed a number of experts—including leaders from BBOXX, d.light, International Finance Corporation, Solar Kiosk and Zonful—about opportunities they see on the horizon.