ENERGY ACCESS BLOG

Energy Access Practitioner Network Members Off-Grid Electric and Kopernik Win Zayed Future Energy Prize

January 18, Washington DC: Earlier today, this year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize winners were announced at a special award ceremony in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates during the first day of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The prize recognizes and rewards innovators in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability around the world in honor of the vision of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed. Among this year’s winners are two UN Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network members Off-Grid Electric and Kopernik in the SME (small and medium enterprise) and NGO (non-governmental organization) categories respectively. The Prize recognizes the contribution that both these organizations make to promote access to affordable, reliable energy solutions for rural communities. At the same time, it also underscores the transformational impact renewable energy technologies can have when combined with business models that make them affordable for low income communities.

Off-Grid Electric is a rapidly scaling solar company based in Tanzania that allows people to pay for electricity using a “Pay As You Go” approach, built around a mobile payment platform to enable ease of payments. This allows low income customers without access to national grid power to purchase energy in small amounts. Different levels of service are offered, so customers can tailor consumption based on their need and ability to pay.

Kopernik uses a combination of philanthropic and business approaches to connect simple, life-changing renewable energy technology solutions such as a small scale solar lights, improved cookstoves and water filtration solutions with the people who need them the most. To date it has helped more than 300,000 people in Indonesia and other Asian countries.

These organizations and others like them working in the decentralized renewable energy sector are not only helping to provide access to energy, in the process, they are helping people by improving health, enabling education, empowering women and generating jobs and income in rural communities across the developing world.

The Energy Access Practitioner Network congratulates the two Prize winners and commends all its members for their tireless work delivering clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions to millions to help achieve energy access and reach the goal of Sustainable Energy for All.