Due in large part to the improved efficacy and cost of the super-efficient LED, the quickly emerging off-grid solar market has delivered energy access to tens of millions of off- and weak-grid households and businesses globally. With similar shifts in efficiency and cost, other appliances appropriate for off- and weak-grid settings can enable consumers to reach higher levels of energy access faster.
The Efficiency for Access coalition is scaling up and bringing together a range of programmes and support mechanisms to accelerate energy efficiency in clean energy access efforts, driving markets for super-efficient technologies, supporting innovation, and improving sector coordination. Super-efficient appliances and equipment – which offer the same energy services at lowest cost and resource – are already changing the lives of many. Products like fans, refrigerators, and solar water pumps accelerate income generation, and improve productivity, health, and safety. TVs, radios, cell phones and tablets also improve access to news and information.
A significant new contribution to the Efficiency for Access Coalition is the Low-Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) program, funded by UK aid. LEIA is a research and innovation programme to accelerate the global market for highly energy-efficient appliances needed for clean energy access. Under LEIA, UK aid will provide £18 million over five years to accelerate the availability, affordability, efficiency and performance of a range of appliances and related technologies suited to developing country contexts. LEIA was designed with extensive industry consultation regarding the specific challenges and opportunities of the off-grid clean energy access appliance market.
Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said: “The UK is working with partners to help some of the poorest people to access life-changing and energy-efficient appliances, so that children can do their homework at night, people can irrigate their crops and businesses can grow. By widening access to more efficient technologies like solar-powered fridges, we’re changing the lives of those who live off grid while also helping to promote clean energy and tackle the causes of climate change.”
Power Africa, a US government initiative coordinated by USAID, is a co-sponsor of the Efficiency for Access coalition with UK aid. Andrew Herscowitz, Power Africa Coordinator said, “Appropriate, affordable, and highly efficient appliance technologies – including cooling, communications, mechanization and refrigeration – will vastly improve outcomes for health, education, productivity and livelihoods.
Power Africa is proud to contribute to Efficiency for Access on many fronts, including through the Global LEAP Awards for TVs, fans, and refrigerators. In fact, we just announced Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition winners and finalists, the world’s best, most energy-efficient refrigerators designed for compatibility with off-grid solar energy systems, as well as two innovation cash prizes of $200,000 each for refrigeration products that demonstrated market-leading advancement in efficiency and overall value.” This competition is supported by USAID as part of the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Development Grand Challenge, DFID’s Ideas to Impact Programme, and Energising Development (EnDev).
Several ongoing and notable efforts are joining together under Efficiency for Access, including those under the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program. To date, more than 131 million people have benefited from using Lighting Global quality verified solar lighting products, and more than 39.5 million people have had their basic (Tier 1) lighting needs met.
Shell Foundation brings its experience of access to energy in the household, business, and off-grid utility sectors to the coalition. The Foundation is supporting several innovative technologies and enterprises working to improve efficiencies in the areas of refrigeration and energy storage as part of its founding membership of SOGE, with funding agreements in place with UK aid and USAID.
The Rockefeller Foundation works with governments, the private sector, technology innovators, and other advocates in Asia and Africa to accelerate on and off-grid strategies for an energy transformation to spark long term economic growth and opportunities for those left behind in the modern economy.
EnDev builds sustainable markets for energy access products with multiple touchpoints on energy efficiency, ranging from assisting product development, to training mini-grid operators in supplying efficient appliances to customers, to supporting cooperatives in newly grid-connected sites in acquiring appropriate technologies for use in households, institutions and businesses. EnDev has supported the Global LEAP Awards incentives program since 2015, and will be bringing this expertise to the Coalition.
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is rolling out support for trade regulation and policies in favor of high quality and energy efficient lighting and appliances within the East Africa and Southern African Development Communities. This work will help develop common road maps, including testing, compliance, gender mainstreaming and recycling of waste. The Swedish Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Mr. Ibrahim Baylan, highlights the opportunities provided by digital and smart technologies to enhance energy efficiency and supply as being high on the Swedish agenda.
Going forward, the Efficiency for Access Coalition will focus efforts on driving market scale in near-to-market off- and weak-grid appliance products, supporting innovation in horizon appliance technologies further from low income markets, and improving information and co-ordination among development sector and industry partners. It aims to achieve faster, higher-impact results by strengthening the coherence of support programmes aligned with the needs of consumers and the market, based on a range of consumer research and industry consultation mechanisms.
This partnership supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7, to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and touches on all three pillars – energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy access.
Several partners power this coalition:
- UK aid
- USAID / Power Africa
- Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Shell Foundation
- Good Energies Foundation
- Energising Development (EnDev)
- The World Bank Group
- Lighting Global
The Efficiency for Access Coalition is co-ordinated by CLASP, an international appliance energy efficiency and market development specialist not-for-profit organisation, working alongside the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, which specialises in energy efficiency product verification, data and insight, advice and research.