We have a few exciting updates. My colleague and I have recently returned from a visit to Sierra Leone and Liberia, two of our priority countries within the Energy & Women's Health initiative. With support from the Government of Norway we are working to harness sustainable energy to improve women's health through undertaking country level data gathering, technical and design assessments to catalyze support for and concerted action towards the electrification of health facilities. Initially this work is focused in five priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa, although it is clear the issues touch many other countries as well.
Apart from meetings with government and UN agency officials, we met with a number of practitioner network member groups delivering a range of energy access solutions in the sector – from a project delivering solar power to health clinics in several districts in Liberia by Merlin (now Save the Children) - to a 12 kW solar/hydro micro-grid installed by Energy for Opportunity at a beautiful community owned ecotourism site outside Freetown in Sierra Leone.
While visiting one clinic, a nurse told us that she was so pleased to have solar light in the clinic as her arm previously would get tired in the middle of a complicated nighttime delivery from holding her cell phone (for use as a light) in one hand, while trying to navigate the safe birth of the baby using the other.
Nurse Janet in front of her solarized clinic in Liberia
But we also heard that there is still a long way to go – not only in terms of the financing needed to complete electrification (and clean water) for these many critical health facilities, but also in ensuring that existing systems are properly maintained over time, that spare parts are available in local supply chains, and that national capacity is strengthened to support the workforce needed to install and manage these solutions.
Looking forward, these issues will be among many discussed at the upcoming first annual "Sustainable Energy for All" Summit being held at the UN in New York from June 4-6.
We look forward to seeing many of you there.
Richenda Van Leeuwen Executive Director, Energy Access, United Nations Foundation
Global LEAP is planning an Off-Grid Appliance & Clean Energy System Market PlugFest event on May 13th, 2014 as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) in Seoul, South Korea through administration of the Global LEAP Awards process, the team has received strong signals from appliance manufacturers when considering the off-grid market that interoperability challenges pose a major barrier to entry. The goal of this event is therefore to inspire the sector more broadly to recognize this problem, and begin working through it. Agenda and registration details will be available soon. For queries and sponsorship opportunities contact GlobalLEAP@hq.doe.gov.
d.light, a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary markets in the developing world, today announced that Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, were named 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light, along with 37 other individuals and organizations in the 2014 class, will be fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. Last week, d.light was named as a B-Corp "Best for the World" company, based on overall global impact on community, workers and environment. As one of the first companies in the world to undertake the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS) d.light was named a Pioneer Company for a rigorous, independent assessment of social and environmental impact. In the last year, d.light was also acknowledged as a Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer (2013) and awarded the $1.5 million Zayed Future Energy Prize (2013).
Saif Rashid, an inclusive business model expert and rural enterprise specialist, and the founding director and CEO of JITA Social Business Bangladesh Ltd, has also been awarded a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
By the end of March, Juabar will have a total of 21 franchisees in operation in Tanzania. Last Monday, Juabar CEO, Olivia Nava, started a 10-week fellowship with Fledge Accelerator in Seattle where she will focus on operations, business processes and investments. Juabar has also been accepted into the Unreasonable Institute, a well-regarded fellowship for social businesses.
Urban Green Energy (UGE) has received power performance certification for the VisionAIR wind turbine, from the third party certification organization Intertek, in accordance with the relevant IEC standard (IEC 61400-12). Achieving this certification continues to highlight UGE as a leader in small wind technology. UGE's partners and customers now have access to additional benefits, including government grants and tax incentives, which will improve return on investment for the VisionAIR. The testing confirmed that the turbine begins exporting power at wind speeds as low as 3.5 m/s [7 mph] and is twice as efficient as several of its competitors.
The International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy, ENERGIA, and the UK Department for International Development, DFID, signed an agreement to advance knowledge and awareness regarding the impact of energy access on women and girls. DFID has committed £4.5 million over the period 2014 – 2019 to ENERGIA in a contract that encompasses research, evidence gathering and dissemination, and raising public awareness on the importance of energy access for women and girls, in line with their commitments to the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. The research will focus on five areas: electrification through grid and decentralized systems; productive uses of energy; the political economy of energy sector dynamics; energy sector reform; and the role of the private sector in scaling up energy access.
In partnership with Energypedia, the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has developed an online Renewable Energy Project Resource Center (REPRC) to provide documents that seek to facilitate the speeding-up and scaling-up of renewables projects in developing countries. The REPRC complements other tools now available to governments and developers by focusing on working level project documents such as samples of Terms of Reference (ToRs), procurement documents, surveys and questionnaires, economic and financial analyses, and case studies, with the intention in part being to help reduce transaction costs.
AlphaMundi reported that their impact debt fund SocialAlpha-Bastion has been fully funded, and Bastion portfolio companies served some 260,000 direct beneficiaries, accounting for more than 1,200 full time jobs, and reduced CO2 emissions of nearly 160,000 tons.
Solarway is now operational with a local warehouse and retail display on the ground in Nigeria.
BBOXX has just released a new section on its website that enables quick and easy purchase of a BB7 Kit to anywhere in the world for a fixed price regardless of country.
ARPEDAC, with its partners, plans to set up a Centre of Excellence in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Central Africa (CEREEECA), to serve the Central Africa Sub-region. This will share renewable energy and energy efficiency activities for the Central Africa sub-region. Its mandate would be to support capacity building to support policies, stimulate business opportunities and the implementation of new ideas and methods in renewable energy and energy. If you are interested in working with ARPEDAC, please fill out this survey, which will run for 3 months, to be completed before May 31st. If you would like to know more, please contact Dr. Blaise Mempouo at email@example.com.
Energy for Opportunity builds capacity for their community lighting projects
Energy for Opportunity's (EFO) strategy is to develop innovative ways in which to both promote and implement the use of renewable energy. The emphasis therefore is not only on direct solar installation projects (in health clinics, schools andcommunity centers ), but also on solar training for students in partnership with local education institutions and the active promotion of the use of renewable energies in the offices and projects of government bodies and international organizations. Thus the objective is not just to deliver renewable electricity through projects, but also instil a philosophy of renewable energy use across the broader community.
EFO focuses its work exclusively in West Africa, a region where the need for alternative forms of energy is greatest. It is a region that the United Nations ranks as having eight out of the twenty least developed countries in the world. Energy For Opportunity has established a locally managed regional office in Sierra Leone and is developing programs with other local partners in West Africa. Their strategy is to establish long-term partnerships, with EFO providing any necessary expertise and support while increasing local technical capacity. This strategy is derived from EFO's belief that any international organization working in a development setting should be striving to make their services redundant; the involvement of local partners is one key step in this process."
The Clean Energy Project Grants will fund organizations based in Wales with links in Sub-Saharan Africa to invest in technology and knowledge that will enable their partner communities to develop clean energy supplies and essential services. The grants are up to £10,000 towards the cost of clean energy projects in Sub-Saharan African communities, using one or more of the following: solar panels, wind turbines, water generation, fuel-efficient stoves, biogas, and tree planting.
The Access to Energy Fund (AEF) is a fund started by the Government of Denmark and FMO with the mission to support long-term access to sustainable energy services provided by the private sector. By 2015, the fund aims to connect 2.1 million people with energy generation, transmission and distribution projects in developing countries. Funding Opportunities Include: - Equity – up to €10 million or 75% of the total transaction, whichever is the lesser amount. - Subordinated debt/senior loans – up to €20 million or 75% of total transaction, whichever is the lesser amount. - Longer grace periods and tenors often necessary to get such projects off the ground. - Grants for providing project development. -Financed projects must provide long-term access to energy for at least 50,000 people and distribution projects are the most preferred projects financed by AEF.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE), is actively pursuing collaborative research that will enable cost-competitive solar PV generation of electricity by 2020. This objective will be achieved, in part, through non-proprietary partnering opportunities (NPOs) that enable collaborative research between NREL and the PV community to advance and publish scientific understanding in critical areas of PV technology development. NPO projects initially focused on enabling collaboration between the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) Measurement and Characterization (M&C) team and the wider PV community. The NCPV, however, is launching a selective pilot program to expand the available capabilities to include PV resources across NREL, in addition to M&C.
Proposals can be submitted at any time and are evaluated quarterly. Specific upcoming deadlines, further information on proposal guidelines and evaluation dates can be found here.
The ECOWAS Renewable Energy Facility (EREF) has announced a second call for proposals. The focus is to provide grant co-funding for the installation of renewable energy powered micro-grids (including hybrids), in rural and peri-urban areas of ECOWAS Member States. The project will be managed by the ECREEE Secretariat in cooperation with its National Focal Institutions, with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.
Villgro is piloting a 12-month in-residence program for very early-stage Indian entrepreneurs. If you have an idea on the drawing board, your idea uses market-based models to impact underserved communities, you have the persistence, drive and passion required for the entrepreneurial journey, and you are looking for support to convert your idea into reality, then this program is for you. Incubatees receive a stipend of Rs 25,000 per month for one year, office space and facilities at the Villgro headquarters in Chennai, and classroom sessions (through Villgro's SEED program) to help you learn how to build your business. Incubatees also receive hands-on support from the right mentors handpicked just for you, access to funding and facilities for prototyping your idea, access to funding for market research, access to a network of service providers who can help you, and an opportunity to raise funding and scale your business. Apply now!
' Energy: Islands of light – Nature In Haiti, the least-electrified country in the Western Hemisphere, some residents spend US$10 a month on candles and kerosene just to light their homes — roughly 125 times what those in the United States typically pay for the equivalent light. In India, many pay a premium to charge their mobile phones from car batteries at the local market.
Spacing: The key to sustainability – DevEx Our van kicks up clouds of brown dust as we drive down the uneven dirt road toward Community Health Clinic #3 on Bussi Island. Our guide Lucy Shillingi of Pathfinder International points out a passing truck heaped with bundles of chopped wood.
On International Women's Day, let's remember that a crucial step to ending poverty comes through providing access to reliable and sustainable energy for girls and women. Providing clean energy solutions in homes and schools and equipping community health centers with the energy they need improves indoor air quality, supports girls getting an education, creates economic opportunity, and saves the lives of women, especially during childbirth.
New Energy Access Reports
Energy: Islands of light - More than a billion people lack electricity, but now microgrids are powering up rural areas, Jeff Tollefson, Nature. A new feature story in Nature that the UN Foundation's energy access team has helped shape, which identifies and discusses the lessons learned from a number of off- and micro-grid energy projects.
Last Mile Distribution of Off-grid Solar Products: Support Needs, Concerns & Opportunities,GIZ, IFC & DoE The recent explosive growth of the off-grid solar lighting sector affirms the potential for this technology to substantially increase access to a basic modern energy service in underserved communities. To ensure that market interventions support rather than impede market growth, donors and their development partners need to better understand the dynamics of this rapidly changing market.
Crowd funding in the Energy Access Space, ArcFinance. New crowd funding models are opening up alternative means by which energy providers and consumers can gain financial support in the absence of conventional donor funding, debt and equity investment. Today, within the context of the energy access economy, a number of different crowd funding models have evolved for a variety of different purposes, including consumer, startup, working capital and project finance. This paper showcases samples of crowd funding related to the energy access space.
Inclusive Green Growth in Zambia: Scoping the needs and potential, IIED The 2012 Rio+20 Summit concluded that green growth is best defined and tailored according to the individual country context. This report describes Zambia's approach to develop an Inclusive Green Growth Strategy under its Sixth National Development Plan. The Zambian definition for inclusive green growth is 'inclusive development that makes sustainable and equitable use of Zambia's natural resources within ecological limits'. The report describes the changing international policy and financial context for inclusive green growth, reports on a workshop facilitated by IIED, and proposes initial steps to develop its operational Strategy.
Sustainable development opportunities at the Climate, Land, Energy and Water Nexus in Nicaragua, Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies. Please note this new paper through the Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies that seeks to synthesize the state of climate, land, energy, and water issues in Nicaragua and highlight the potential for integrated resource planning in the country. It focuses on three ongoing, sustainable development initiatives as case studies: rain-water harvesting in the Pacific Mountain Corridor, community-scale breadfruit processing in the Caribbean Coast region, and national bioenergy production using sugarcane bagasse. Authors include Practitioner Network member Mathias Craig, Global Executive Director of blueEnergy. The Spanish version of the paper will be available shortly.
Achieving Energy and Water Security: Scalable Solutions from the Private Sector, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center Energy and water are essential for economic development, food production, and global security. However, rapid population growth, an increasingly prosperous middle class, urbanization, changes in climate, and demographic shifts from rural to urban centers are putting increasing pressures on our limited energy and water resources. According to the United Nations, by 2030 the world will need at least 30% more water, 45% more energy, and 50% more food. The private sector, as a significant user of energy and water, has a critical role to play in successfully addressing these challenges toward ensuring a more secure and prosperous energy and water future. Featuring more than 25 business success stories, the report shows how companies solve energy and water challenges in their operations and supply chains.
How2Guide on Wind Energy, IEA The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced a new publication series known as the How2Guides. Building on the Agency's global energy technology roadmap series, each publication aims to provide practical guidance on the development of a technology specific roadmap or strategy at the national or regional level. The first guide in the new series, the "How2Guide for Wind Energy", was released at the Annual Conference of the European Wind Energy Association in Barcelona, Spain. The paper offers a menu of recommendations on policy, technical and financing options for deployment of utility-scale wind energy installations and seeks to provide an overview of potential barriers to wind deployment, as well as possible actions for addressing them – taking into account local conditions, drivers and barriers, including public acceptance issues.
PV GRID, the transnational collaborative effort under the umbrella of the Intelligent Energy Europe program, recently released an advisory paper for PV grid integration. The European PV GRID advisory paper aims at providing an overview of the issues and barriers that need to be addressed in order to enhance the distribution grid hosting capacity for PV and other distributed generation (DG). Finally, a set of preliminary recommendations on how to overcome these issues is presented, allowing for the implementation of the identified technical solutions. The PV GRID project consortium invites all European stakeholders to provide comments and feedback on the contents of the European advisory paper. Feed-back can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until 30 April 2014.
Linking Energy Access to Carbon Emission Reductions and Subsidy Reforms: Challenges and Opportunities for the EU and the US, Oliver J. Haas & Wade Hoxtell A new policy paper by GPPi makes the case that, if any progress is going to be made in enabling universal access to modern forms of energy while simultaneously mitigating global carbon emissions, a more holistic framework is needed that links climate finance, energy access and subsidy reform. The authors argue that the issues of energy access, climate change and subsidies are intertwined and cannot be solved on their own; climate and access goals cannot be achieved without eliminating wasteful energy subsidies, and inclusive energy systems and climate justice can, in turn, significantly contribute to the acceptance of a global climate consensus. The authors provide a number of recommendations to that effect.
New Practitioner Network Members
The Practitioner Network now has over 1,600 members. Welcome to the following: