Newsletter - December 2016
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From the United Nations Foundation 

Dear Friends,

Another year has passed, and with it has brought further success and scale to the distributed clean energy sector. We have had the pleasure of highlighting many of our members’ new business models, pioneering technologies, and ever-growing financing rounds in our monthly newsletters. For this last newsletter of 2016, I would like to also take the opportunity to recap the Practitioner Network’s efforts.

Matchmaking between practitioners and investors in the energy access space remains one of our most valued services. Our Investment Directory, showcasing an ever-growing number of our members’ financing needs, is now the most up-to-date database of its kind focusing on distributed energy providers, where our members can easily set up organizational profiles or update their funding needs directly. The Directory now features close to 250 organizations, and we invite all of our members who are looking for funding to join here and ensure their needs are visible to investors.

This year was also one for partnerships: We partnered among others with Sustainable Energy for All on our annual Practitioner Network survey, opening it for the first time to all stakeholders in the distributed energy space and including questions on financing flows. These are now being analyzed and will inform SEforALL’s decision-making around catalyzing the energy access sector going forward. We have also collaborated with Global LEAP on a re-do of our earlier 2015 off-grid appliance market survey, which will help inform future market support activities and gauge how much the off-grid market’s understanding of appliance demand has moved in the past two years. Members can expect to see summary reports of these surveys early in the new year.

The United Nations Foundation also joined the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: Grand Challenge for Development as an aligned partner alongside Microsoft and Acumen committed to leveraging our investments, capabilities, and networks in the off-grid solar sector to accelerate the growth of the household solar sector in Africa. Finally, one of our most valued contributions for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing continues to be our webinars, held in collaboration with the Clean Energy Solutions Center: in 2016, the Practitioner Network held ten training webinars, reaching over 1,300 participants with a 93% satisfaction rate.

Looking forward, the Practitioner Network aims to tailor more of its services on country- and region-specific issues/challenges in 2017: We will continue our country-focused webinar series, recordings for the first two of which can be found here (an overview) and here (on Nigeria). In collaboration with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, we will also host a new quarterly “best practices” webinar series to facilitate peer-to-peer learning in different country and technology contexts. We are also beginning to plan two country/ region-specific workshops in the new year to bring our members together on a more granular level.

We are proud of the services we are providing and aim to optimize our relevance to our now close to 2,500 global members. We will continue to build on and add to our recent changes in 2017, working with our members and SEforALL toward the goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030.


Yasemin Erboy Ruff EAPN
Yasemin Erboy Ruff
Senior Program Officer, Energy & Climate
United Nations Foundation
IFC and CLASP Announce New Partnership to Sustain Quality Standards for COnsumers in Off-Grid Solar Markets 
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and CLASP, an international NGO with deep expertise in the deployment of energy efficiency standards and labeling, with support from the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), announced a new partnership to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program an internationally recognized framework developed by IFC over the past nine years to ensure that off-grid lighting products meet consumers’ expectations for quality, affordability, and truth in advertising.
AfDB Launches $500 Million Facility for Energy Inclusion 
The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently approved a $100 million financing package to seed the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a $500 million pan-African renewable energy access debt fund. This investment approval is the first big step by the AfDB to deliver on its New Deal for Energy in Africa commitments for energy access through decentralized renewables.
GE Africa and USADF Launch 2017 Off-Grid Energy Challenge for Women in Energy
GE Africa and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) relaunched their partnership for a 2017 Off-Grid Energy Challenge aimed at African women-owned and managed energy enterprises and innovations. Since 2013, GE has partnered with USADF to fund $5 million in awards, enabling 50 African energy entrepreneurs to power communities living beyond the grid.
Sustainable FInance Collective Asia to Offer Capital and Expert Advice for Sustainability Projects in Asia
Sustainable projects in the areas of the circular economy, sustainable energy or social impact in Asia now have a new potential source of funding in the Sustainable Finance Collective (SFC) Asia.
This funding platform, launched by ING Bank at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development in Singapore, plans to offer funding to projects that meet the criteria and approval of its Funding Panel and Expert Panel. Comprised of banks Credit Suisse, FMO, and ING Bank, as well as the UNDP-UN Social Impact Fund, the Funding Panel will offer project managers a range of funding options through a single source, including debt, equity, and guarantees.
Requests for Proposals (RFP) to Design Framework Agreements for Solar and Wind in Antigua and Barbuda | Deadline December 21
The 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Television and Off-Grid Fan Competition Open for Nominations | Deadline January 20
 Microsoft Renews its Affordable Access Initiative (AAI) Grant Fund | Deadline January 31
SNV RBF Round 3 Application for Pico-Solar PV Suppliers| Deadline January 31
 IRENA/ADFD Project Facility Fifth Annual Funding Cycle Now Open | Deadline February 15
Practitioner Network Members Participate in #GivingTuesday
Tesla Merges with SolarCIty, Becomes Large Shareholder in Off-Grid Electric
IFC, FMO Invest in Mobisol to Deliver Decentralized Solar to East Africa
SunFunder Adds 'Beyond the Grid' Fund for Solar Projects in Places Without Electricity
Energy4Impact: New Iniative to Bolster Women's Involvement in the Energy Sector
Nova-Lumos to Power 75,000 Households, SMEs in Northern Nigeria

USAID's Clean Energy Emmission Reducion (CLEER) Tool
The CLEER Tool is a user-friendly calculator based on internationally accepted methodologies, enabling users to calculate emissions reduced or avoided from clean energy activities. The tool helps users to: estimate, track, and report greenhouse gases (GHGs) reduced or avoided from clean energy; identify high-impact activities with cost-effective GHG reductions; and estimate projected GHG emissions reduced or avoided to 2030.



Sustainable Energy Marketplace
IRENA’s online portal in collaboration with Power Africa promotes project initiation, development, aggregation, matchmaking, de-risking and financing through a simple virtual platform. The platform helps project developers identify relevant funding and expertise depending on the stage and specific needs of their projects and makes financing opportunities visible and easily identifiable for investors.

  Member Spotlight: REN21    
REN21 is the global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors. REN21’s goal is to facilitate knowledge exchange, policy development and joint action towards a rapid global transition to renewable energy.

Much of the world faces the twin challenges of providing modern energy services and mitigating climate change. The provision of basic energy access to over one billion people around the world and the subsequent economic development triggered are likely to lead to a significant increase in energy demand. Meeting this demand calls for a major energy shift and must be driven by the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency if we are to achieve 100% energy access.



REN21 GSR 2016: Solar India – Woman cleaning solar panel.

Photo Credit: DfID

The Guardian
Making Change Decisive
The Huffington Post
The Win, Win, Win of Solar Energy for the Health Sector
Factor E
Rural Electrification: Time to Get Messy? 
Energy and Water Analysis, IEA 
World Energy Outlook 
Proven Delivery Models for LED Public Lighting: Synthesis of SIx Case Studies 
Proven Delivery Models for LED Public Lighting: Synthesis of SIx Case Studies 



Welcome to the following organizations that have joined the Practitioner Network in the past month:

Capta Hydro

Vineeti Technologies
Afrykan Power Systems
Pact Myanmar
Leks Environmental Ltd
4th International Conference and Exhibition on Energy Storage and Microgrids
January 12-13, 2017
Mumbai, India
World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2017 
January 16-19, 2017
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Power Tech Africa 2017
January 30-31, 2017
Nairobi, Kenya
Enlightening the Mitigation Debate: The Importance of Sustainable Energy Access

January 31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium 

Sustainable Energy Southern Africa Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership
January 31 - February 2, 2017
Lusaka, Zambia
January 31- Febuary 2, 2017 
San Diego, USA
Africa Energy Indaba

February 21-22, 2017 
Johannesburg, South Africa
World Sustainable Energy Days 2017

March 1-3, 2017
Wels, Austria 

The 3rd Annual Powering Africa
March 8-10, 2017 
Washington, D.C., USA

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