Newsletter - April 2017
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From the United Nations Foundation 

Dear Friends,

We hit the ground running this month with the third Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Forum, where we had the pleasure of seeing and highlighting the work of many of our Practitioner Network members. The forum served as a great melting pot of energy service providers and entrepreneurs, governments, UN representatives, civil society, and academia much like the Practitioner Network’s membership itself and led to not only lively and frank discussions on progress towards SDG7, but also served as a great matchmaking platform to encourage new partnerships, deals, and investments in the space.

The UN Foundation worked alongside and in support of the SEforALL team, both behind the scenes and on stage. We hosted three partner working sessions on superefficient appliances, energy and health, and mini-/micro-grids and our VP for Energy, Climate, and the Environment, Pete Ogden, moderated a “knowledge into action” session focusing on the deployment of renewables in the Latin America & Caribbean region. Our sister initiative, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, also participated in the clean cooking discussions -  you can see a Facebook Live video featuring our Reid Detchon and Radha Muthiah, CEO of the Alliance, here. All sessions were covered by @energyaccessPN and @minigridsHIO on Twitter using #SEforALLforum.

The session on Powering Healthcare brought together energy and health specialists from the UN Foundation, UNICEF, UNDP, DFID, and the governments of Nepal and Zambia to discuss strategies for increasing the priority given to the electrification of health facilities as a means of improving maternal and child health. The session also highlighted one of the UN Foundation’s projects in this area, which seeks to power 62 “off-grid” health facilities across Uganda and Ghana, adding an estimated 240 kWp of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to the health sector. The project is made possible by the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). A Periscope video of Jem Porcaro, our Senior Director for Energy Access, opening the session can be found here, and a press release further detailing UNF’s clinic electrification project can be found here.

Of course, the Practitioner Network’s moment of fame at the forum was the launch of the results of our 2016 survey. The survey included a new section on financing flows, in which we collaborated with SEforALL to better understand investor and practitioner perceptions of the potential to scale and barriers to do so in the distributed energy sector. The launch event, which was streamed via Facebook Live here and live-Tweeted via #EAPN2016survey, also featured three of our long-time members Nicola Armacost, Arc Finance; Allison Archambault, EarthSpark International; and Anya Cherneff, Empower Generation offering their reactions to the results on financing, mini-/micro-grids, and small scale distributed solutions respectively. It was a great pleasure for us to have many of our members join us in the audience as well as at our booth following the launch for those of you who were unable to join us in person, you can find the survey brochure here, and a press release detailing the launch here.

In addition to our sessions, it was terrific to see so many of our Practitioner Network members be highlighted in the main forum panels, partner working sessions, and Facebook Live interviews. Notably among these is an interview between our long-time member Dan Schnitzer, CEO of SparkMeter and Rachel Kyte, CEO of SEforALL, which you can watch here. Other great highlights include Facebook Live videos of our members SunFunder & Greenlight Planet; Abze Solar; Off-Grid Electric & PEG Ghana; and Schneider Electric & Hivos, among others. You can read testimonials from a number of our members who attended the Forum here.

The SEforALL Forum reminds us of the importance of peer-to-peer interactions and partnership building to catalyze action towards the achievement of SDG7. As the evidence from the SEforALL & World Bank Global Tracking Framework also launched at the forum demonstrates in this short video, we still have quite a way to go towards sustainable energy access for all, and we will need all of our Practitioner Network members and other stakeholders in the space to work together to achieve our collective goal.

Sincerely,

  Yasemin Erboy Ruff EAPN Yasemin Erboy Ruff
Senior Officer, Energy & Climate
United Nations Foundation
 
       
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Facebook, Microsoft Mobilize $50 Million for Renewable Energy Microgrids 
Facebook and Microsoft have joined with investment firm Allotrope Partners to launch a first-of-its-kind finance facility to catalyze investments in renewable energy micro-grids in underserved communities around the world. The Microgrid Investment Accelerator (MIA) will mobilize roughly $50 million between 2018 and 2020 to expand energy access in parts of India, Indonesia and East Africa. MIA will test the commercial opportunity for micro-grids and demonstrate how concessionary finance can unlock progressively larger proportions of private capital as risks are discovered, priced and mitigated. 
 
AfDB Ranks Energy as Top Priority with Focus on Off-Grid Solutions
The Between 2010 and 2013, the African Development Bank (AfDB) energy projects connected 560,000 African households to the electricity grid, and energy access for the continent continues to be a top priority for the African Development Bank. A series of new policies and plans are pushing for new off grid solutions, and AfDB is also scaling up its own investments with acess to electricity being seen as key to the success of the other goals on AfDB President Akinumi Adesina's "High 5" agenda, a set of priorities that includes industrialization and an improved quality of life. Experts say access is a must for African nations to compete in the global marketplace; without it, the continent will fall short of achieving development goals and encouraging investment. 
 
 
EarthSpark International - Request for Proposals
 
The Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge Funding Window Open | Closing Soon
 
International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and Elsevier's Renewable Transformation Challenge | Closing Soon
 
2018 Rolex Awards for Enterprise | Deadline June 30

 
SunFunder Starts Local Currency Lending for Off-Grid and Grid-Deficit Solar
  
d.light's D30 Pay-Go Solar Home System Touted to be Fastest Pay-Go Off-Grid Solar Product to Reach Scale
 
Mobisol to Light up Kenya's Rural Homes by Opening More Solar Stores; Partners with MTN & Tecno to Increase Connectivity in Rural Rwanda
 
Azuri Raises Funds to Connect 6,000 Homes to Solar in Kenya, Launches PayGo Solar Home Systems in Nigeria
 
Smiling Through Light & Practical Action Share Observations From CSW61
 
Practitioner Network Members Recognized as 2017 Ashden Awards Finalists
 
 

The Global Tracking Framework 2017 (GTF) Interactive Online Portal Now Available
The GTF aims to provide the international community with a global dashboard to register progress on energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. It assesses the progress made by each country on these three pillars and provides a snapshot of how far we are from achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets. Visit www.gtf.esmap.org to compare results across countries, explore different indicators, and assess progress over time.

 

  

Renewable Energy (RE) Explorer - A New Geospatial Tool for Data Analysis
The RE Explorer, a new geospatial tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provides renewable energy data, analytical tools, and technical assistance to developers, policymakers, and decision makers to make informed decisions that support low-emission development and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

 
 
  
 
         
           
 
  Member Spotlight: Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN)    
 

India needs decentralized clean energy to attain universal energy coverage for its citizens

The Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN) was set up in 2014 to fill the need for a dedicated representative body for decentralized clean energy practitioners working to actualize SDG 7, access to modern and sustainable forms of energy, for millions of Indians. At the time of its inception, the official tally of the number of Indians without such access was around 280 million. This number has now dropped to around 217 million today. The media was also recently abuzz with news of India's newfound status as a net energy exporter as well as the recognition conferred to it by the International Energy Agency as an associate member country.

 
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Photo Credit: CLEAN

         
           
 
 
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Global Tracking Framework (GTF) 2017
 
REN21
Renewables Global Futures Report
 
Power for All  
Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress
 

 

 
         
           
 
World Economic Forum Africa
May 3-5
Durban, South Africa
 
Vienna Energy Forum
May 9-12
Vienna, Austria
 
AFC Live 2017
May 15-16
Abuja, Nigeria
 
African Utility Week

May 16-18
Cape Town, South Africa 

 
IEC LVDC Conference on Sustainable Access to Electricity
May 22-23
Nairobi, Kenya 
 
African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings
May 22-26
Ahmedabad, India 
 
3rd Off-Grid Power Forum

May 31 - June 2
Munich, Germany
 
Asia Clean Energy Forum

June 5-9
Manila, Philippines

 
8th Clean Energy Ministerial
June 6-8
Beijing, China
         
             
           
             
           
 
     
         
 

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