Newsletter - May 2017
From the United Nations Foundation 

Dear Friends,

We were pleased to be able to announce the results of our 2016 Practitioner Network survey at the Sustainable Energy for All forum last month with many of our members in attendance. We greatly appreciate your taking the time to participate in our yearly surveys. As the largest network of stakeholders in the energy access space, the Practitioner Network is a great lens through which to understand the successes in the sector and the challenges that remain for scale.

While the fast-paced distributed energy access sector has seen many changes since the Practitioner Network’s inception, which our surveys have grown to reflect, a number of questions have now been answered multiple years in a row, providing us the ability to track trends over time.

One of the clearest results of recent surveys, which will come as no surprise to our membership, is the significant representation of SMEs and start-ups in the respondent pool year-after-year, which underscores their importance in growing the distributed energy access sector. With support tailored to the needs of SMEs, these enterprises are well placed to understand and respond to local markets and meet household energy needs and preferences more quickly than traditional electrification approaches.


Their needs along with the rest of our membership continue to center around financing, and our survey results have tracked an ever-increasing emphasis on debt financing as the sector seeks to scale-up. The amount of financing needed overall continues to be on the rise as well, with many of our members successfully completing new and increasingly significant funding rounds as recognition for their work grows. Comparing survey results to our real-time online investment directory also underscores the exponential growth of the funding needs and therefore scale potential of what was once considered a niche sector. Interestingly, in 2015, social and environmental impacts each ranked among the three most important considerations for investors when evaluating investment opportunities in the energy access sector, while return on investment ranked second to last. This suggests that investments in the energy access sector may be driven primarily by a desire for impact and scale. Read More


Yasemin-001.jpg Yasemin Erboy Ruff
Senior Officer, Energy & Climate
United Nations Foundation


Shine: New Campaign led by Faith and Philanthropic Partners to Support Energy Access for All 
An emerging global campaign on energy access, Shine: Investing in Energy Acccess for All, was revealed during the final day of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum last month,focusing on diversifying the sources of finance to support energy access.

The campaign will unite partners from the faith, development and philanthropic sectors to commit to mobilizing new forms of capital, scaling resources and generating momentum to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and reliable energy by 2030 and support Sustainable Development Goal 7.  


AFD Launches African Renewable Energy Scale Up Facility
The French Development Agency (AFD) and its subsidiary for the private sector Proparco have launched the African Renewable Energy Scale Up Facility (ARE Scale Up). ARE Scale Up's objective is to stimulate private investment in the renewable energy sub-sector in Africa.

Both networked and non-networked solutions will be taken into account by the project, which received €24 million from the EU. The creation of this facility is an extension of the AFD Group of the ElectriFI initiative of the EU which pursues the same objective with a focus on the populations of rural areas and areas difficult to access. 

Request for Expressions of Interest for African Development Bank Mini-Grids Consulting Services | Closing Soon
UN DESA Energy Grant 2017: Powering the Future We Want - Recognizing Leadership and Innovative Practices in Energy for Sustainable Development | Deadline June 15
WISIONS SEPS Call 2017 for Projects and Exchange Activities Now Open | Deadline June 23
2018 Rolex Awards for Enterprise | Deadline June 30

Practitioner Network Members Recognized as 2017 New Energy Pioneers by BNEF
Azuri is Named 2017 Gold Edison Award Winner
Upcoming Ashden 2017 Awards Feature a Number of Practitioner Network Members as Finalists
d.light Partners with Microfinance Institutions to Provide Solar Energy in Kenya
Sendea Showcases Significant Differences Between Prices for SHS in Kenya
Power:On Releases Short Film on the Role of Off-Grid Energy in Benin, Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

The OpenAccess Energy Blueprint
The OpenAccess Energy Blueprint, developed by Waterloo Global Science Intiative (WGSI), is a clear and accessible pathway to create and support an ecosystem in which dynamic energy access sector can thrive.

The result of a multinational, multidisciplinary and multigenerational collaboration between energy sector actors, the OpeanAccess Energy Blueprint features:

  • Insight into proactive governance, creating a fair marketplace, empowering people, and effective entrepreneurship for energy access;
  • Solutions Spotlights featuring innovative technologies, business and finance models;

  • A special feature section on energy access in Canada's remote Indigenous communities;

  • A commitment to establishing and nuturing partnerships on the road to establishing energy access.


Atlas of Africa Energy Resources
The Atlas of Africa Energy Resources, developed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), provides visual information on the challenges and opportunities to providing Africa’s population with access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services. Through maps, charts and images, the Atlas combines scientifically reliable data sources to provide a complete view of Africa’s energy needs, resources and opportunities. View the materials here.



ECOWAS Map Viewer: New Version Launched
The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has released a new version of the map viewer. It is an open data platform for managing and sharing renewable energy and energy efficiency information on ECOWAS Member States. New data sets display solar and wind power potential maps, energy access maps for non-electrified communities in West Africa, and hydro power resource potential of all river basins across the region.

  Member Spotlight: 2017 Finalists for the Ashden Awards     

Since 2001, Ashden has been awarding and supporting the most innovative sustainable energy projects from around the globe. From renewable energy to innovative finance to empowering women and girls through clean energy, Ashden uncovers the best in sustainable energy each year and shows the world its potential to improve lives, boost economic growth and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world.


Photo Credit: Ashden

World's First Refugee Camp Powered by Clean Energy
Ecofin Agency
Electrification Rates Accross 24 African Nations According to World Economic Forum
First Post
DC Solar Products are Lighting up Rural India: What's Driving the Increased Demand?
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Rural Patients Reaping Health Benefits of Clean Energy in Afghanistan
Dominica News Online
US $34-Million Solar Street Lights Project for Dominica
Acumen Blog 
A Cleaner Path: Solar Energy's Impact on Health 
GOGLA & Lighting Global  
Global Off-Grid Solar Market Report Semi-Annual Sales and Impact Data, July - December 2016
The State of Electricity Access Report (SEAR) 2017
Pepukaya Bardouille, Daniel Sheperd, Gianmaria Vanzulli  
There is Such a Thing as Too Much, Too Fast: Avoiding 'Mismatched Expectations' in Off-Grid Energy Investing
Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics  
Energy Access Situation Report, 2017 Tanzania Mainland
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
2Q 2017 Frontier Power Market Outlook



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

AZGreen Engineering and Environmental Services

ASTEVEN Cameroon
Capta Hydro
Lodicha Solutions

Ce and Ce Telecom and Virtual Solutions Ng. Ltd. 
Distributed Generation Limited

Geo Power Group

United Kingdom 
MicroGen Renewables

United States 
Inceptima Management Solutions
New Sun Road Inc

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 

2017 Ashden Awards Ceremony
June 13
London UK 
Unlocking Solar Capital LATAM
June 15-16
Miami, USA 
12th International Symposium on Renewable Energy Education, ISREE2017

June 19-21
Strömstad, Sweden
EU Sustainable Energy Week

June 19-25
Brussels, Belgium

Strategies for Sustainable Energy Transitions in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa
June 19-20
Accra, Ghana

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