With renewables becoming cheaper than ever before, there is now an unprecedented opportunity to distribute renewable energy. The question is how do we unlock financing for the world’s poorest and most remote?
Lisa Jordan, Shine
Harish Hande – SELCO
- There are three groups of people in need of energy: poor, very poor, and those in poverty. It is necessary to realise that these three groups have different technological needs.
- Are we able to institutionalise processes and clean energy in education, health and livelihood sectors, such that sustainable energy becomes the norm and organisations like us, the middlemen, don’t have to exist anymore?
- The question is how do we invest in poor communities so that they are empowered to take charge of their own future and energy needs?
- We set up SELCO Fund to invest in these communities and create an ecosystem for energy access technologies to succeed. From there, we can create opportunities to duplicate successful processes.
There is a lack of operating capital to keep the ship afloat. $481 billion is the gap in financing that we need between now and 2030 to achieve SDG7. Having energy at your disposal is the difference between surviving on $1 a day to moving out of energy poverty. Energy access enables businesses and communities to function and thrive.
Liz McKeon, IKEA Foundation
Ajaita Shah – Frontier Markets
- In India, the problem is not just that 270 million people don’t have access to electricity, it’s that 450 million people only have access to unreliable electricity, which is a more frustrating problem.
- Frontier Markets provides a sustainable energy distribution model with women at the centre of the value chain.
- We work with local rural households to understand their connection to electricity: what they need, when they need it, how they need it, and what’s the best way to serve it.
- Women are key to all this information. 70% of energy users are women, and can give the most incredible feedback. They can tell you their needs around simple energy access.
- Frontier Markets has over 1,000 women entrepreneurs, or Solar Sahelis, serving over 460,000 households. The products are designed by the women themselves.
- We are currently scaling up operations into five new states in India and are aiming to employ 10,000 women entrepreneurs.
- With more investment, Frontier Markets can invest in more technology, and in more training for these women entrepreneurs.
- Working on financial inclusion: giving women the opportunity to access capital directly.