US Partners with Benin, Bangladesh and Kenya for Off-Grid Energy
story highlights

The US Government has announced actions to help bring off-grid clean energy systems and energy efficient appliances to the approximately 1.3 billion people who still lack energy access globally.

Such energy systems will help speed up the delivery of affordable modern energy services, along with other solutions, such as grid extension and energy generation supply investments, according to a US press release, which also states that improving access to renewable energy solutions, in particular, positively impacts education and economic opportunities, while reducing pollution exposure, providing clean water access, and empowering farmers and families.

USA Flag22 October 2015: The US Government has announced actions to help bring off-grid clean energy systems and energy efficient appliances to the approximately 1.3 billion people who still lack energy access globally. Such energy systems will help speed up the delivery of affordable modern energy services, along with other solutions, such as grid extension and energy generation supply investments, according to a US press release, which also states that improving access to renewable energy solutions, in particular, positively impacts education and economic opportunities, while reducing pollution exposure, providing clean water access, and empowering farmers and families.

In order to bring clean energy to more households, the US, with Benin, Bangladesh and Kenya, is taking a range of actions, including the following: the US Department of Energy is launching the next round of the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) Awards competition focused on promoting super-efficient, high quality off-grid fans and televisions; the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is guaranteeing a US$75 million loan through the Power Africa programme to scale-up off-grid energy investments across sub-Saharan Africa; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation is lending more than US$20 million to promote solar energy in 90,000 households in Kenya and Nigeria; the Millennium Challenge Corporation is providing US$46 million for off-grid electrification in Benin; and the Governments of Benin, Bangladesh and Kenya are increasing access to off-grid energy efficient products and developing standards to ensure the quality of off-grid appliances.

Nineteen companies and organizations have endorsed the Global LEAP Guiding Principles, which encourage governments, foundations, non-profits and the private sector to work together to scale up commercial markets for low-cost quality assured off-grid devices, and announced independent commitments, including: over US$125 million in new funding to finance clean energy projects, such as the deployment of high-efficiency solar equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; and the deployment of over 170 million off-grid, energy-efficient, stand-alone and scalable products.

Since 2009, cumulative sales of small-scale solar products in Africa have increased from 40,000 products to nearly 7.5 million in 2014; the cost of LED-based solar products declined 70% between 2011 and 2014; and solar lanterns and other off-grid products have served over 50 million customers globally. However, the US press release notes, continuing to provide climate-friendly, low-cost energy access will require contributions from developed and developing countries, industry, financial institutions and civil society. [US Press Release and Fact Sheet] [IISD RS Stories on Global LEAP]

related posts