Off-grid on a roll

Of the more than 1.4 billion individuals in the world lacking access to clean energy, the majority of them live in developing countries. There are many efforts going towards developing off-grid energy solutions, but the majority require financing to scale. The following articles detail some recent developments that are attempting to address this issue.

$2m for off-grid renewable energy in Myanmar by Priyanka Shrestha on Energy Live News
The potential for renewable energy use in Myanmar is great as sources of solar, hydropower and wind power are readily available. Unfortunately, lack of infrastructure and limited financing opportunities are impeding the development of a strong renewable sector. A recently announced $2 million grant from the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Japan will help to facilitate access to renewable energy through the installation of 10MW of small-scale solar energy systems over the next three years. In a country with less than 49% electricity access, this project is a step in the right direction and has the potential to bring power to 400,000 households and schools.

SunFarmer’s Rent-to-Own Financing Unlocks Off-Grid Solar Development and Enables Key Health Services for Clinics in Nepal on PR Web
U.S. nonprofit organization SunFarmer has announced that it will provide long-term financing for off-grid solar installation to six Possible Health clinics in Nepal. Possible Health provides high-quality, low-cost healthcare to rural areas across the world, but can only go so far on a limited budget. The clinics in Nepal consistently experience over 20 hours of blackouts per day, making operations close to impossible. SunFunder’s solar installations will assist Possible Health in providing medical services to over 67,000 people in Nepal and by structuring the financing in a long-term “rent-to-own” manner, will alleviate any financial burden on the organization. This is a great example of successful innovative financing on a large scale.

An Off-Grid Solar Angels List? by Justin Guay on The Huffington Post
In the off-grid energy space, it is well known that one of the biggest barriers to scale and widespread adoption is access to finance. There have been continued calls for a $500 million fund from the World Bank to facilitate financing for off-grid energy solutions, but to date these have been to no avail. Embark Energy is looking to solve this problem by empowering thousands of clean energy entrepreneurs to sell and service clean energy products around the world. Through its incubator program, Embark will train and assist entrepreneurs and startups to become viable innovative energy companies. It will then act as a match-maker by setting up the companies with partner institutions from which they can get seed funding and continued mentoring. This process is designed to create a pipeline of viable off-grid energy companies in this rapidly growing market.

Beyond the Grid by Power Africa
Last week, the Obama Administration announced a collaborative commitment to invest $1 billion into off-grid and small-scale solutions to increase energy access for underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa. We hope you saw our post on why we’re supporting the Beyond the Grid initiative by Power Africa. We’re looking forward to building on the momentum already established in our portfolio with the support of new public and private partners.

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