UNEP en.lighten Outlines Steps to Universal Lighting Access in Africa
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A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report, titled 'Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy: Guidance Note for Governments in Africa,' outlines effective policies for bringing non-fuel-based lighting, such as modern solar lighting, to off-grid areas of the continent, where currently 600 million people lack access to grid electricity.

The report highlights the economic and health benefits of bringing lighting access to off-grid communities using energy sources other than fossil fuels.

UNEP18 May 2015: A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report, titled ‘Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy: Guidance Note for Governments in Africa,’ outlines effective policies for bringing non-fuel-based lighting, such as modern solar lighting, to off-grid areas of the continent, where currently 600 million people lack access to grid electricity. The report highlights the economic and health benefits of bringing lighting access to off-grid communities using energy sources other than fossil fuels.

The report lays out four steps to implementing measures that will phase out outdated regulations and subsidy schemes, thereby creating an enabling policy environment for effective market mechanisms. The first step, according to the report, is “Get the fundamentals right – engagement of informed stakeholders and proper monitoring,” which calls for transparent national energy policies and verification measures.

The second step, “Kick-start the market – fiscal/financial tools that attract the private sector,” includes introducing exemptions on value-added tax and tariffs, removing subsidies on lighting fuels and facilitating access to finance across the supply chain.

Third, the report says to “Scale up the market,” which involves actions on product quality, awareness raising, capacity-building and public-private partnerships (PPPs).

As a fourth and final step, governments should “Sustain the positive impact and keep market at steady growth rates.” This step requires strengthening enforcement and monitoring of quality assurance programs and providing infrastructure/regulation for proper recycling of spent products.

Launched at the Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum, the report was co-published by UNEP, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy: Guidance Note for Governments in Africa] [IISD RS Coverage of SE4ALL Forum]


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