Newsletter - March 2017
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From the United Nations Foundation 

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to join the UN Foundation and the ever-growing community of Energy Access Practitioner Network members and partners -- the biggest consortium of decentralized energy stakeholders in the world. Many of our paths crossed five years ago at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where the first ever publication of the Practitioner Network was launched and I participated in my capacity as a member of the US government’s delegation.

At the time, I was working at the White House as Director for International Environmental and Climate Policy, and the importance of meeting energy access challenges in an environmentally sustainable manner was increasingly being recognized for what it was and is: a vital, missing piece of the global sustainable economic development puzzle.

While the Rio+20 conference was only five years ago, significant progress has been made since then in establishing energy access in the development and climate agenda through the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and more. Meanwhile, and most importantly, there have been real results on the ground too. Each year, renewables outpaced fossil fuels for net investment in power capacity additions. And on the distributed energy side, innovative business models continued to mature, with 23.5 million cumulative pico-solar product sales between mid-2010 to mid-2016, 20.5 million of which boast Lighting Global or other quality verification (GOGLA data).

You all have played a vital role in this progress. A group of Practitioner Network members and partners have reached over 100 million people with sustainable energy solutions -- a figure that we expect will increase in the coming years as more members start to achieve scale, both financially and geographically. We will continue to highlight these achievements in our newsletters to facilitate sharing best practices and drive further investor interest to the energy access space.

But we all know that as much progress has been made over the past five years, we must (and can) make more over the coming five in increasing the right kinds and amounts of investments into the distributed energy space; supporting higher tiers of access through the scaling-up of clean energy mini-/micro-grids and super-efficient appliances; and making further strides in energy storage to meet a larger demand.

I am excited to work with all of you to meet these challenges, and I am pleased to do so with Rachel Kyte and the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) team. In the coming months, we will continue to identify and develop work streams our two teams can mutually advance, and the Practitioner Network will continue to be a key vehicle through which we accelerate this mutual work.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Sustainable Energy for All Forum, where I will be moderating a Knowledge into Action session on April 4th at 10:20AM that will highlight leaders who are embracing renewable energy solutions using ambitious policies and incentives, or business models, to harness the potential of renewable energy as we look to a decarbonized future and to achieving the SEforALL objectives. Our energy access team will also be well represented, with participation in three Partner Working Sessions on superefficient appliances and clean energy mini-grids (both on April 3rd), and energy & health (April 5th), as well as the highly anticipated launch of our 2016 Practitioner Network survey findings. We invite all of our members and partners to join us on April 4th at 1:30PM in person or via Facebook Live to be the first in sharing the results of our fifth annual survey. For more details on all the sessions we are participating in, please see here.

I enjoyed meeting many of you at the first quarterly Practitioner Networking event this month, and look forward to meeting and working with many more of you in the future.


  Pete Ogden Pete Ogden
Vice President for Energy, Climate and the Environment
United Nations Foundation
Introducing Partner Working Sessions at This Year’s Sustainable Energy for All Forum
Over the course of three days, the 2017 Sustainable Energy for All Forum will feature 33 partner working sessions on a range of topics related to each daily theme: “Productivity Matters Putting Energy Efficiency First”; “Get it Together Integrating Centralized and Decentralized Energy Systems”; and, “Why Wait? Seizing the Energy Access Dividend”.
SEFA Commits Close to US $1 million to Energy Access in The Gambia
The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a US $995,000-grant to the Republic of The Gambia to implement a program to facilitate private investments in Green Mini-Grids (GMG) through the creation of an enabling policy, institutional and regulatory framework, as well as direct support to project development and financing. .
Call for Proposals: Women-Led Clean Energy Businesses and Projects |  Closing Soon
Applications for 2017 Momentum for Change Awards now Open | Deadline April 9
2017 Impact Amplifier Investment Readiness Accelerator Open for Applications | Deadline April 21
The Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge Funding Window now Open | Deadline April 30

Off-Grid Electric to Invest $25 million in Solar Electrification Project in Rural Tanzania
Piyush Mathur Appointed New CEO of Simpa Networks
SunCulture Selected as a Finalist for Two Upcoming Awards
Angaza Shares Best Practices in Delivery of Pay-as-you-go Solar
ARE Energy Access Investment Forum
LuminAID's Inflatable Energy Device Lights-up Syrian Refugee Aid

Launch of the Acumen Energy Impact Series
Acumen has kicked off a series featuring new research that seeks to answer questions on the social impact of off-grid energy, considered to be the off-grid energy sector’s most extensive collection of academic research looking at the links between solar energy and poverty, indoor air pollution and health, education, and whether an energy ladder really exists. The series will culminate with learnings from Acumen’s own Energy Lean Data project: customer-based data looking at impact across different countries, energy service levels, and business models with Acumen’s own energy portfolio. The first instalment in the series shares the results from ETH Zurich research in Kenya, funded by Google, looking at the economic impact of solar lanterns.



SE4ALL Africa Hub Launches Upgraded Version of the Green Mini-Grid Helpdesk Website
The SE4All Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank, signed a service contract with a consortium of Energy 4 Impact and INENSUS GmbH, last year to provide technical assistance to developers of Green Mini-Grids and a comprehensive information service for developers in Africa.
The SE4All Africa Hub is implementing a Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program to facilitate across Africa the creation of a Green Mini-Grid movement and enabling environment funded through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.
The Energy 4 Impact/INENSUS consortium are providing business development services to Green Mini-Grid developers in Africa, assisting them on a wide range of issues, from business planning, market development and grid design to project finance, grid operation and maintenance.
The Green mini-grid helpdesk is part of this initiative and besides providing access to resources it is open to requests for support from mini-grid developers. Access the helpdesk here.

  Member Spotlight: d.light     

Access to Energy, Internet, and Banking will Transform Global Economic Development in the Next Ten Years

Off-grid solar is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. We expect this to catalyze a chain of events that move the developing world into new forms of energy access, financial inclusion, and internet connectivity, which will in turn significantly increase GDP. Here’s what we expect in the next ten years.



Photo Credit: d.light

Pay-as-you-go Solar and Microgrids Considered New Class of Infrastructure Investment
African Clean Energy
#EnergyMatters: Why Refugees Deserve Better
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Turning Sunshine to Energy 'More Possible, Less Expensive' Than Ever
The World Bank/ESMAP 
ESMAP 2016 Annual Report
World Resources Institute
Stimulating Pay-as-you-go Energy Access in Kenya and Tanzania: The Role of Development Finance
IWorld Bank  
Can Solar Lanterns Improve Youth Academic Performance? Expiremental Evidence from Bangladesh



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

The Frensch Corporation

ASTEVEN Cameroon
FUNAE-BTC Belgian Development Agency
Nirdhan Utthan Bank Limited
Geo Power Group
Distributed Generation Limited
Ce and Ce Telecom and Virtual Solutions Ng. Ltd. 
ARE Energy Access Investment Forum
March 22-23
Lisbon, Portugal
Renewable Energy Finance Forum Africa
March 23-24
London, UK
3rd Sustainable Energy For All Forum: Going Further, Faster - Together
April 3-5
New York, USA
Clean Energy Summit Africa

April 4-5
Accra, Ghana 

The Solar Future Nigeria
April 25-26
Lagos, Nigeria 
World Economic Forum
May 3-5
Durban, South Africa 
AFC Live 2017

May 15-16
Abuja, Nigeria
African Utility Week

May 16-18
Cape Town, South Africa

IEC-BIS International COnference on Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) for Electricity Access
May 22-23
Nairobi, Kenya

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