United Nations has called on
businesses, governments, and
civil society to achieve Sustainable
Energy for All by 2030
Richenda’s Message – March 2016
This month we report on a new micro-grid policy in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, particularly relevant to members of the network like OMC Power, Mera Gao Power, Husk Power and others operating in India, as well as investors interested in this market.
Together with the World Bank, UNF has launched a quarterly newsletter focused specifically on micro- and mini-grids as part of the work of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) on energy access in the “clean energy mini-grids high impact opportunity” area. We welcome Practitioner Network members to sign up for the mini-grids newsletter to help track developments on financing, international policy and practice.
More news from India this month is highlighted in SELCO Foundation’s spotlight piece on the solar company Mangaal, operating in the North Eastern state of Manipur. I had the pleasure to hear from Devakishor (Dave) last year about his business when visiting Bangalore for a meeting of SELCO Foundation incubatees. His story is in many ways typical of many last mile entrepreneurs: the targeted support of incubators like SELCO Foundation and others, particularly when combined with make-sense follow-on finance, is critical to helping ensure the growth and success of early stage companies operating in these challenging markets. Too often their needs are not adequately addressed by investors.
The article on Mangaal’s work also references improvements for women’s livelihood through the provision of solar powered sewing machines. The Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) has recently released a new report shared below focused on the state of the efficient appliance market for energy access – like sewing machines. While this report focuses on televisions, fans and refrigerators, it is also an important reminder that that the progress we see in the delivery of off-grid energy be equally matched by the provision of super-efficient appliances.
It’s not only having access to the Watts that counts, it’s what you can do with them when you have them. Appliance efficiency, whether in a 10 Watt LED television like those produced by Practitioner Network member, Fosera, low wattage LED light bulbs, or an efficient solar agro-processing mill from Village Infrastructure, means that you can do more with what you have. Always a good thing.
There is still much more work to be done in this area, and in particular we encourage the recognition of the off-grid sector as a viable and vibrant market for more targeted development of super-efficient appliances. Appliance manufacturers, please take note.
Richenda Van Leeuwen
Executive Director, Energy Access, United Nations Foundation