Newsletter - September 2017
SolarSister1 (2).jpg
From the United Nations Foundation 

Dear Friends,

The Practitioner Network has been busy in the last weeks of summer. In August, we collaborated with our long-time member Solar Sister on a workshop in Tanzania focusing on the important need and opportunity to expand the participation women in the clean energy access value chains and policies. Our sixth annual Practitioner Network survey, which we just closed, will shed further light on this issue with a new deep-dive feature on gender issues in energy access, which we developed in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All. This month, SEforALL and partners have also launched a new report series that, for the first time, tracks and analyzes finance flows for electricity and clean cooking access in 20 countries with significant access gaps; and we will continue to complement this work through our surveys going forward.

We are also pleased to announce that our Import Tariffs and Barriers to Entry Database has been updated with the most current data for small-scale off-grid sustainable energy products and components, allowing users to navigate sustainable energy markets in over 80 developing countries accordingly.

The tool features exportable data on:

  • Most up to date applied import and tariff bound rates by country;
  • Bound, MFN, and non-MFN tariffs by product, including: solar batteries, solar lanterns, PV cells and modules, wind turbine blades, LEDs, and more;
  • Top import origins by quantity and trade value; and
  • Most recent trade performance indices by country.
We invite all our members and partners to view the updated database and keep us informed of changes on the ground via the direct Twitter functionality for each page of the database, or by emailing us at

Even more exciting changes are on their way for the Practitioner Network stay tuned to learn more in next month’s newsletter! 


  JemPorcaro.jpg Jem Porcaro
Senior Director, Energy Access
United Nations Foundation

Save the Date: SAFE Humanitarian Workshop with UN Foundation Side Event on Mini-/Micro-Grids 
The 4th annual Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Workshop will take place from November 28 to December 1st in Nairobi, Kenya. This year's workshop will have some exciting new features: it will incorporate strategic discussions on key emerging issues, such as the increasing role of the private sector and the need for a global strategy on energy access for displaced people. Additionally, the United Nations Foundation will host a day-long side event on December 1st dedicated to clean energy Mini-/Micro-Grids in Refugee Camp Settings.

To learn more about the workshop, please visit the event page. Registration will open in a few weeks; if you are interested to attend but are not on the SAFE mailing list, please email to express intereset in the workshop and/or side event. 

Winners and Finalists of the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards for Outstanding Off-Grid Televisions and Fans Announced 
The Global LEAP Awards is an international competition that identifies the world's best, most energy -efficient off-grid appliances. High-quality, energy-efficient appliances are essential to the growth of off-grid energy markets - they create demand for off-grid energy while reducing energy costs. The Global LEAP Awards provide clear and actionable signals about the quality and energy performance of off-grid appliances. 

Nigeria Spends $14 Billion Yearly on Off-Grid Diesel Generation
Aside from the massive recurrent national grid investments, Nigeria is said to be spending N5tn ($14bn) on off-grid diesel generation yearly. Off-Grid diesel generation refers to systems that have no connection with the national utility grid, but provide electricity for homes, businesses, or applications. Primary energy consumption in Nigeria is largely satisfied by traditional biomass and waste (typically consisting of wood, charcoal, manure, and crop residues) and accounts for 74 percent of the energy mix. This high share represents the use of biomass to meet off-grid heating and cooking needs, mainly in rural areas.


Call for Entries for the 2018 Ashden Awards | Now Open 
US-India Clean Energy Finance Initiative Opens Call for Applications | Rolling Basis
SunCulture Kenya Featured Among Solutions Selected for the United Nations' Solutions Summit 2017
SunFunder Brings Working Capital Facility to Global LEAP Off-Grid Appliance Procurement Incentives Program; Global LEAP to host B2B Networking Event this Month
MTN Partners with Fenix International to Launch Off-Grid Solar in Zambia
Angaza Design Raises $6.9 Million
Japanese Firm Mitsui to Invest $9 Million in OMC Power
Dulas Solar-Powered Refrigerators Save Vaccines in Myanmar

Sustainable Energy for All Heat Maps: Progress and Challenges on Sustainable Energy
Achieving universal energy access - a core focus of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) - can be hard to navigate when deploying limited resources for maximum impact. To help combat this issue, SEforALL has created four sets of heat maps - on electrification, clean cooking, energy efficiency and renewables - which identify specific countries and regions with the biggest gaps and needs.

By combining and analyzing data sets including the Global Tracking Framework (GTF) and Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE), the heat maps show leaders where they can make the biggest and fastest inroads towards SEforALL's goals and can support these efforts accordingly. These maps also show where progress is happening so that their successes can be replicated and help leaders in government, business and civil society make smart choices.



Energypedia Launches Mini-Grid Portal 
Energypedia has recently launched its mini-grid portal: a centralized platform for all information related to mini-grids such as mini-grid definition, site selection, legal & financial framework and a list of online resources (external tools, websites, and publications) on mini-grids.

Along with accessing information, mini-grid professionals and enthusiasts can also share their own knowledge and experience, as well as discuss trending topics in the portal. The portal serves a dual purpose: it provides introductory information to beginners as well as advanced information and tools to mini-grid developers and experts.

  Solar Sister: A Meeting of Minds - Including Women in Clean Energy Solutions    

On August 24, 2017, Solar Sister and the Energy Access Practitioner Network brought together key actors in Tanzania's renewable energy sector to discuss how to meaningfully include women in clean energy solutions. The workshop was supported by ENERGIA, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy.

Women can play a crucial role in scaling up energy access, especially in underserved communities across Tanzania, but so far, few have gotten the opportunity to do so.


Photo Credit: Solar Sister

Air Conditioning is a Lifesaver. It's Also a Potential Disaster
Next Billion
Enhancing Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs - What Should Financial Institutions Do?
IEG World Bank
Conversations: Is Off-Grid Electrification the Key to Sustainable Energy for All?
The Guardian 
Pay-as-you-go Solar is Lighting Up the Lives of Ghana's Micro-Entrepreneurs
PV Tech
ISA to Become Recognized Multilateral Agency by Year-End
Renewable Energy World
Haitian Solar PV Weathers Hurricane Irma
The State of Electricity Access Report (SEAR) 2017
Sustainable Energy for All
Energizing Finance: Scaling and Refining Finance in Countries with Large Energy Access Gaps
Santa Clara University's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Turning on the Lights: Transcending Energy Poverty Through the Power of Women Entrepreneurs
Practical Action 
Poor People's Energy Outlook 2017 
CEEW and Oxfam 
Powering Primary Healthcare Through Solar in India



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

Elum Energy

Solar Energy India
Solar Energy Engineering and Management
Stimulus Private Limited
South Africa 
Zamori Engineering Services

Sri Lanka
Integrated Development Association

United Kingdom
Solar Links Initiative

United States 
Green Ocean Ventures
Nevada Solar Designs
Shinbone Labs
SociaLite Lighting Systems Inc.
The Batonga Foundation

Vortex Hydro Power Company Limited
Unlocking Business Opportunities for Solar Energy in Senegal
September 25-28
Dakar, Senegal
Off-Grid Experts Workshop 
September 27-29
Stadthalle Memmingen, Germany
Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo 2017
October 18-20
Abuja, Nigeria 
India Clean Cooking Forum (ICCF) 2017

October 24-25 
New Delhi, India 

Clean Cooking Forum 2017
October 24-28 
New Delhi, India
ALER Conference: Renewables in the Electrification of Mozambique
October 25-26
Maputo, Mozambique 
Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa

October 25-26
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Solar World Congress 2017

October 29 - November 2 
Abu Dhabi, UAE

UNFCCC Climate Change Conference: COP 23
November 6-17
Bonn, Germany

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