Poor People’s Energy Outlook: Reflections from the Practical Action Launch Event

25th March 2019

Recently our Chief Operating Officer, Matt, attended the launch event of the latest Poor Peoples Energy Outlook by Practical Action. These annual reports focus on the global policies and practices necessary to achieve inclusive energy access at scale. In the latest report, the focus is on: exploring “delivery at scale from a bottom-up perspective, developing metrics to assess inclusion, scale, and the context for progress.” The launch event included an informative discussion and dialogue with attendees.

Upon return to the office, Matt shared the following reflections about his time with Practical Action and our work here at Renewable World:

It’s easy to believe that life without energy is a thing of the past, with grand on-grid energy projects and internationally backed grants and subsidy schemes in Kenya and other fast developing countries. However, these projects are largely focused on the easiest to reach, larger population centres and those most profitable customers.

The hardest to reach, like those dependent on fishing on the shores of Lake-Victoria, remain largely without clean and reliable energy. At Renewable World we work in hard to reach, mostly rural locations away from the grid connected population centres. Members of the community are actively engaged and shape our solar water and microgrid programmes.

Congratulations to Practical Action on a thorough and sobering analysis of the energy landscape, alongside pertinent recommendations. Among the many recommendations, there were three in particular that resonated with our work and focus here at Renewable World:

(1) Put people, and particularly women, at the centre of energy programmes.

(2) Bring the neglected problem of nearly 3 billion cooking on open fires into an integrated clean cooking and electricity programme.

(3) Don’t lose quality and inclusion in an effort to scale, keep multiple stakeholder engaged with public and private partnerships.

Read the full Practical Action 2018 Poor People’s Energy Outlook report: Achieving inclusive energy access at scale alongside Practical Action’s latest policy brief on renewable energy programming: Renewable Energy Enables Climate Change Adaptation for Smallholders.

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