Energy for Development

At Invested Development, we invest in companies with products and services aimed at solving global energy poverty as access to energy impacts almost all other aspects development. Below are recent articles highlighting the role that energy plays in the development of emerging markets. Microgrids Life Villages Out of Dark Age by Megha Bahree on Nikkei Asian Review Our portfolio company, Simpa Networks, based in India, is playing a crucial role in bridging the “power gap” in a country where about 400 million people have no access to power. Simpa provides energy packs equipped with lights, a small fan and mobile charging ports as part of their solar-as-a-service product offering for energy-poor households in rural India. There are about 250 companies like Simpa operating in India offering similar “village solutions” tackling the challenge of taking clean energy to the nation’s poorest communities. Read more about Simpa addressing the mass market opportunity of unmet demand for energy services in rural India in this case study released by the World Access to Modern Energy Expo 2015. Power Surge for Women as Emerging Consumers by Tassos Stassopoulos on AB Global Electricity is able to transform societies and economies in emerging markets, acting as an agent of empowerment for consumers. For women specifically, electricity paves the way to buying home appliances that free them from hours of housework, subsequently allowing them to join the work force. This is an opportunity that has been historically limited for women in developing countries. Less than 40% of adult women in the 12 largest emerging markets participate in the labor force, according to updated World Bank Data. Today, there has been evidence that access to electricity leads to a boost in the percentage of employed women. This boost in employment should lead to changes in family spending patterns, as studies show that women tend to have longer-term financial focus than men, with spending focused on savings, education and insurance. Women’s empowerment provided by access to electricity has the potential to pull rural families out of poverty and lend to large-scale rural development. How to Meet the Solar Needs of the Rural Poor – 3 Lessons Learned by Agnes Cho on Sun-Connect News Recently Agnes Cho, program associate at Global Partnerships traveled to Nicaragua to share what the organization has learned during its two years of experience in the off-grid lighting space in Latin America. This knowledge transfer is integral to the development of the solar sector in Latin America. Cho highlights three factors driving demand for solar amongst the rural poor in the communities:

  1. Solar distributors should offer a range of products, from simple, solar lamps to aspirational products like TVs to allow for rural families to climb the “energy ladder”
  2. Poor customers want high-quality products
  3. “Seeing is believing” – promoting solar products is easier if salespeople have the ability to travel with their products and show the technology to their clients

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