New York, 19 May 2015 - In the framework of the 2nd UN SEforAll Forum, the Clean Energy Mini-Grids High Impact Opportunity (HIO) working group presented its first edition of a mapping tool covering clean energy mini-grid support providers. Available as a written publication and online, this mapping tool provides an ideal resource for potential project developers. The session on mini-grids moderated by Richenda van Leuven (UNF) faced a lot of interest from the attendees. With an increase in registration from 1,500 in 2014 to 2,500 this year at the 2 nd UN SEforAll Forum, universal access to clean energies is gaining more and more attention worldwide.
The clean energy mini-grid sector is crucial in providing clean energy access and alleviating poverty in developing countries, but is hampered by a number of barriers such as early stage market fragmentation and unmade linkages. To address this issue, the Clean Energy Mini-Grids HIO set out to map public, philanthropic and commercial sources of funding, technical and other support available for the implementation of clean energy mini-grids.
To do so, the Alliance for Rural Electrification on behalf of the HIO collected information on the relevant activities of a broad group of stakeholders from the whole clean energy mini-grids value chain. This project was made possible by the kind financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and more importantly by the input from a wide range of stakeholders in the mini-grid markets. The results are reflected in a publication for the benefit of all stakeholders and as a webtool, where users can filter the aspects relevant to their own needs.
David Lecoque, Policy & Business Development Officer at ARE: “It is a great pleasure for ARE and its membership to be a proactive supporter of the SEforAll initiative. From a practitioner’s point of view, we feel it is incredibly useful to have a good oversight of financial, technical and other support for clean energy minigrids provided by public, private and CSO organisations, reflected in an easy-to-use webtool and a publication. It is also very positive to see the level of commitment by the private sector, which is incentivised by the public sector to build and grow this highly promising market to help achieve universal access to sustainable energy.”
Dean Cooper, Energy Finance Programme Manager at UNEP and current chair of the Clean Energy Mini-grids HIO Co-ordination Group, was very pleased that the HIO has now produced a practical output that will attract widespread interest. “It’s very important for us to turn the positive words about potential for clean energy mini-grids into real action on the ground. We must move from the talking to the walking! Finding the support necessary to turn new ideas into practice has been a key barrier. This mapping tool is still only the first version, but it’s already a big step forward – we hope that many others will now ask to be referenced in this directory, and will join the HIO”.
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Note to the editor
The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is an international business association representing the decentralised energy sector working towards the integration of renewables into rural electrification markets in developing and emerging countries. It is also the private sector partner of SEforAll for decentralised energies. We enable improved energy access through business development support for more than 90 members along the whole value chain for off-grid technologies.
The Clean Energy Mini-Grids High Impact Opportunity (HIO) was launched during the 1 st annual SEforAll Forum in New York in June 2014. The Clean Energy Mini-Grids HIO is an international framework that strives to multiply the impact of existing and upcoming efforts in the area of clean energy mini-grids. With a current membership of 145, and under the leadership of a coordinating committee, this HIO focuses on supporting the establishment of an enabling ecosystem for accelerated investment, deployment and replication of clean energy mini-grids grids towards the target of 40% access via mini-grids by 2030.