How energy providers are increasing productivity through decentralized solutions
Providing access to electricity to the 1.05 billion, predominantly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in pockets of East Asia and Latin America, is an urgent development priority. The past performance of many of these countries are a cause for concern for achieving universal access by 2030, but new technologies are breaking ground and together making this challenge seem achievable. Off-grid and distributed energy resources are now feasible at even smaller scales than previously, thanks to micropower and super-efficient appliance revolution, mini- and micro-grid designs for grid-parity functionality, and finally advances in storage solutions are pointing to network operations in both independent and integrated manner. Electricity connections to populations in remote and rural areas have enabled transformations through new economic opportunities and develop health services and education, especially to girls and women – enabling progress to be made on other Sustainable Development Goals. Even in very poor countries with inadequate or less than favorable policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, bold new initiatives have opened opportunities to the population. However, more needs to be done, with investment needing to increase five-fold to meet the SEforALL objective of universal access by 2030.