New Energy Access Reports — September 2015

Risk Management for Mini-Grids, ARE, HNU, EEE, GIZ

How effectively and cost-efficient do we manage risks when operating mini-grids? Financial, social and political risks can be a fateful threat for the sustainable economic viability of mini-grids, but very often these risks are not managed with a systematic risk procedure. These are some of the main results from the study carried out by ARE, GIZ and the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU). The study is based on the evaluation of the experiences faced by ARE members who brought their long-standing experiences and their knowledge they acquired as implementers, project developers or operators of mini-grid. The study not only clarifies existing risks and risk drivers but also found that these risks could be reduced through professional risk management.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015, The Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

According to the report, global investments in renewable energy have nearly increased by 17% in 2014 as compared to 2013 .The growth was prominent in developing countries where renewable energy investments rose by 36%. The renewable industry also saw a boom in solar installation in China and Japan.

Risk Clustering as a Finance Concept for Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa to attract international private investors, HNU

Projects in the energy sector in Africa especially in rural areas suffer from a number of barriers of regulatory, institutional and financial nature. Especially the combination of political instability and an unclear regulatory environment hampers the private sector to realize the investment possibilities in the field of decentralized rural electrification. When it comes to the conditions of debt for these projects these barriers result in prohibitive high interest rates. If local commercial banks are willing to provide debt these lenders usually require roughly 15% for senior debt if all guarantees and insurances are made available. As the return on investment of projects in the rural energy sector typically does not exceed the low 10% area this situation leads to strong reluctance from other private investors to proceed, especially to provide equity.

LED Lights and Eye Safety Part II: Blue light hazards, Lighting Global

Lighting Global has published Eco Design Note Issue 5, “LED Lights and Eye Safety Part II: Blue light hazards”. This Note is Part II in a series covering the photo biological eye safety of LED light sources. Topics include a discussion of the spectral color properties of LEDs in relation to other light sources, an update on current testing standards, and a simple procedure that manufacturers can use to make an initial assessment of the optical safety of their products. Blue light hazards (the main source of concern with LEDs) are explained in detail, and recommendations are made regarding testing and labelling of off-grid lighting products. Topics for other Lighting Global Technical Notes may be suggested at any time by visiting the website.

Improving Gender Equality and Rural Livelihoods in Senegal through Sustainable and Participatory Energy Management: Senegal’s PROGEDE II Project, World Bank Group

Launched in 2011, the Second Sustainable and Participatory Energy Management Project for Senegal has been hailed for effectively mainstreaming a gender perspective into an energy project. Under the project, women have participated more in decision making; developed skills in technical production, entrepreneurship, and organizational management; and benefitted from increased incomes.

Towards Scaling up of Electricity Access

An e-book has just been published containing the summary of research carried out through the OASYS South Asia Project, including policy recommendations. On the website you can also find papers related to scaling-up, assessment of demonstration activities, a case study on Sri Lanka and a study on livelihoods.