Accelerating access to affordable, reliable, clean energy
Currently, 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity. But population and economic growth are outpacing electrification efforts. Unless there is a paradigm shift in how countries plan their electricity systems, it is likely that governments’ energy access goals will not be met.
WRI’s energy access experts engage with the public sector, investors, development institutions and civil society, building capacity to support energy access investments that alleviate poverty and promote development. We work to accelerate access to affordable, reliable, clean energy across India and East Africa – areas that, together, represent almost a third of the global population currently without electricity.
We address the public planning process by equipping planners (including utilities, rural electrification agencies, regulators and private sector actors) with the information and analysis they need to meet energy access goals. We convene development partners and national financial institutions to align finance with new business models on distributed energy, based on our bottom-up financial analysis.
We shed light on case studies that can help accelerate deployment of decentralized technologies, such as mini-grids or distributed solar resources, across countries. We are also committed to building out a strong monitoring and evaluation system to capture our lessons and support continuous learning.
Our emerging work in the health, education and agriculture sectors will help service organizations articulate their electricity needs, attract investments and integrate clean electricity across India and East Africa. Using maps that overlay socio-economic data and electricity service levels, we will identify underserved populations and help governments and entrepreneurs direct investment toward better service in the right places. Our maps will be a tool for targeting public and private resources, improving development outcomes and ensuring affordability.
Our new interactive, open-source platform, Energy Access Explorer (EAE) visualizes the state of energy access across unserved and underserved regions. It maps and analyzes credible, publicly available energy supply and demand data to help accelerate efforts to extend affordable, reliable power to all. Off-grid and mini-grid developers, for example, can use the tool to identify gaps in market opportunities, while development finance institutions can pinpoint regions that need additional funding to electrify energy-poor communities. With EAE, energy planners can also visualize regions where greater energy access could drive sustainable development and target new areas for grid and/or off-grid expansion. Learn more about Energy Access Explorer here.
To learn more about WRI’s work on energy access, contact Davida Wood.