Newsletter - June 2014
Towards Achieving Universal Energy Access by 2030

Richenda's Message

Dear Friends,

The United Nations First Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York, marking the launch of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) was a success on many levels. On the first day of the Forum, participants attended a total of 46 parallel sessions and heard over 200 expert panelists. I was delighted to moderate a panel with speakers from the network including Fiza Farhan from Buksh Foundation in Pakistan, who spoke about their Lighting a Million Lives program; Harish Hande, from SELCO who talked about the new off-grid clean energy access network (CLEAN) in India; Ishmael Edjekumhene, from KITE Ghana who talked about the work of the Sustainable Energy Network Ghana (SENG), and H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, who spoke about her Mama Light initiative in West Africa, focusing in particular on lighting solutions tailored to women.

The Energy Access Practitioner Network Panel at the First Sustainable Energy For All Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York, June 4-6. (From left), Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director, Energy Access Initiative, UN Foundation; Ishmael Edjekumhene, Director of KITE and Interim Chair of Sustainable Energy Network Ghana; Harish Hande, Managing Director of SELCO-India; Fiza Farhan, CEO, Buksh Foundation; and H.R.H. Princess Abzeita Djigma, Founder, AbzeSolar. Photo: SE4ALL


Member Announcements


    • UN Foundation joins 'Beyond the Grid': The UN Foundation, with 26 other founding partners including several members of the practitioner network, has formally become a partner in the 'Beyond the Grid' program. This is part of US President Barack Obama's 'Power Africa' initiative to channel USD 1 billion over the next five years towards scaling off-grid solutions for households and businesses across six priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Read Press Release.

    • Mera Gao Power and EGG-Energy win Terra Watt Prize: Congratulations to  Mera Gao Power and EGG-Energy for winning National Geographic's Terra Watt Prize. Practitioner Network members Mera Gaon Power and EGG-Energy have won the Terra Watt prize for using an innovative pay-as-you go model for solar electrification. According to a Huffington Post report, this year's winners were evaluated on feasibility, impact, sustainability, and scalability of their products and India-based Mera Gao Power and Tanzania-based EGG-energy will each receive USD 125,000 in prize money for their ground-breaking work.


Featured Member

IBEKA: Empowering communities with micro-hydro power

IBEKA is involved in many projects, but the 'Sumba Iconic Island' Project is particularly important as IBEKA hopes that by 2030 this island in eastern Indonesia will derive 100 per cent of its energy supply from renewable sources. photo: IBEKA

IBEKA has pioneered not-for-profit local renewable energy schemes in Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia, implementing various renewable energy programs – from the electrification of remote communities to introducing solar bottles for safe drinking water – as a way to organize and empower communities towards greater economic self-reliance. IBEKA’s main activities include: Rural electrification using renewable energy; building infrastructure in villages; research on the various sources of renewable energy; developing and training local communities in mini/micro hydro power management; and creating economic activity in rural areas.


Funding Opportunities

ECOWAS Renewable Energy Facility for Peri-urban and Rural Areas, Second Call for Proposals

Applications are due August 10, 2014, 22.00 UTC-1. ECREEE has launched its second call for proposals to support the installation of renewable energy powered mini-grids and the establishment of appropriate management, operation and maintenance systems. The overall amount made available for the second round of calls is EUR 1,000,000. 

DFID-NERC Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) – Regional Consortium Grants 2014

Proposals are due July 15, 2014. The Department for International Development, UK (DFID) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have announced Regional Consortium Grants to the tune of
GBP 20 million for climate research under a five-year-program, 'Future Climate for Africa'. The program will support research to better understand climate variability and change across sub-Saharan Africa and will focus on advancing scientific knowledge, understanding and prediction of African climate variability and change. The program will support better integration of science into long-term decision-making, for better climate risk management and to safeguard lives and livelihoods. The interdisciplinary call aims to advance scientific understanding and prediction of African climate variability and change that can inform medium-term adaptation decisions (5-40 years), and help develop knowledge, tools and methods to better integrate this science into current decision-making. 

Schwab Foundation is accepting nominations for Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015

Applications are due July 15, 2014. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has established a search and selection process to recognize outstanding social entrepreneurs around the globe. The global selection process is open to organizations based in:

•ASIA / ASIA Pacific (except India)


•EUROPE (except France)

•LATIN AMERICA (except Brazil, Chile, Venezuela)



Based on the criteria for selection, if you believe you qualify as a candidate, please download and complete the application form and return it by e-mail to: along with other requested documents.



First Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum
To mark the two-year anniversary of Rio+20 and commemorate the first year of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024), the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative organized the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum on 4-6 June 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. A detailed briefing from each day can be found on IISD’s website. A number of interviews with attendants can be found here. A summary of discussions that took place over Twitter during the Forum can be found here.

Other Upcoming Events

InterSolar North America 2014
7-10 July 2014, San Francisco

BOP World Convention and Expo
28-30 August 2014, Singapore

SOCAP 2014
2-5 September 2014, San Francisco, California, USA


Monthly News Clips

United Nations Foundation Joins 'Beyond the Grid' Program to help 'Power Africa' reach rural communities -
The United Nations Foundation, along with 26 other founding partners, joins 'Beyond the Grid', an innovative program for decentralized energy under President Barack Obama's Power Africa initiative. Read More...

The Meaning Behind "Entrepreneur" and "Scale" and How Philanthropic Lending Can Improve Lives -
Working capital (funding for the salespeople and projects on the ground) is hard to raise, but is what is needed. ENVenture, in partnership with Milaap, are providing you with opportunities to loan to help power communities through cost-effective solar electricity and build a consumer base for clean drinking water to villages and for clean cookstoves which save people's lives. Read More...

SLIDESHOW: Lighting revolution in Sierra Leone

lighting revolution

In the face of inadequate provision of power by the Sierra Leonean government, companies are stepping in to provide solar electricity systems that ordinary Sierra Leoneans can afford. Watch Slideshow...


New Energy Access Reports

Renewables 2014 Global Status Report
, REN21.

REN21's Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) 2014 provides a comprehensive and timely overview of the renewable energy market, industry, investment, and policy developments worldwide. It gives policymakers, industry, investors and civil society the tools to make informed decisions. The report covers recent developments, current status, and key trends; by design, it does not provide analysis or forecast.

REmap 2030, IRENA.

REmap 2030 provides a renewable energy roadmap to double the share of renewable energy in the world's energy mix by 2030. It determines the realistic potential for countries, regions and the world to scale up renewables in order to ensure a sustainable energy future. REmap 2030 is the first study of worldwide renewable energy potential assembled from the bottom up, starting with separate country analyses and then aggregating the results to arrive at a global picture. The roadmap focuses not just on renewable electricity, but also renewable technology options in end-use sectors such as transport and industry. The analysis encompasses 26 countries representing three-quarters of current energy demand. In determining the potential to scale up renewables, the study not only focuses on technologies, but also on the availability of financing, political will, skills, and the role of planning.

Poor people's energy outlook 2014, Practical Action.

The 2014 edition of the PPEO looks back at three years of analysis, to re-evaluate the key enabling role that energy plays in lifting people out of poverty. The report summarizes key lessons and updates evidence presented so far. The PPEO 2014 revisits the multidimensional Total Energy Access (TEA) approach that defines 'access' as when the full range of energy supplies and services required to support human social and economic development are available to households, enterprises and community service providers. The TEA approach to defining and measuring access illustrates the depth and complexity of achieving substantive and transformational access. The report further outlines the Energy Access Ecosystem Index that analyses the policy, capacity, and finance spaces which contribute to progress on energy poverty at the national level.


New Practitioner Network Members

The Practitioner Network now has over 1,700 members. Welcome to the following:

Empower Design

Friends of Family Organization

Hands of Action Uganda


Nkgowe Versatility Projects

Science for Society

West Coast Services

Community Solutions Initiative / IEEE

Nur Energie