Powering development with affordable, sustainable electricity
Charge, a WRI Energy project, develops and disseminates the transformational business models, market structures and practices, and new regulation and policy frameworks that will create the electricity sectors of the future.
Electricity production has changed little in 150 years, relying on large power plants fueled by polluting fossil fuels and accessed through a single grid. This centralized model is not keeping up with demand for clean energy, delivering universal access to enough affordable electricity to power socio-economic development, or in some cases even delivering basic cost-effective, reliable energy. It dismisses renewable energy and energy efficiency as stopgap or expensive solutions and loads unnecessary transaction costs on both. It is also rapidly driving the climate towards disaster.
Technology, particularly the falling cost of distributed energy and storage, is forcing changes in this centralized approach. There is also an emerging need for energy access efforts to scale up from delivering small systems charging lights and cell phones to larger systems for uses such as agricultural processing and workshops. WRI envisions these two trends converging to create an electricity sector that uses the best, most cost effective, clean solution to deliver energy services universally.