Single Week Brings More Than $125 Million to Off-Grid Energy Sector

Huff Post Green
October 26, 2015

By 

Last week was a huge week for pri­vate and pub­lic invest­ment in the off-grid clean ener­gy sec­tor. The off-grid sec­tor con­tin­ues to grow, offer­ing afford­able, reli­able ener­gy ser­vices to unelec­tri­fied and under-elec­tri­fied pop­u­la­tions around the world. Access to off-grid light­ing and appli­ances can have trans­for­ma­tive life-chang­ing impacts, open­ing the door to numer­ous socioe­co­nom­ic and health ben­e­fits.

Among the notable announce­ments from last week was the White House’sannounce­ment of U.S. Gov­ern­ment sup­port for off-grid clean ener­gy, as well as inde­pen­dent com­mit­ments from 19 com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions. Togeth­er, the com­mit­ments will “… pro­vide access to off-grid clean ener­gy prod­ucts and ser­vices to more than 500 mil­lion peo­ple by 2020.” To put that num­ber in per­spec­tive, an esti­mat­ed 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple glob­al­ly lack access to mod­ern elec­tric­i­ty, and many more have only lim­it­ed or unre­li­able access. This com­mit­ment from the U.S. Gov­ern­ment and com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions could serve more than a third of the peo­ple lack­ing elec­tric­i­ty access world­wide.

The pack­age of announce­ments from the White House includes the fol­low­ing in terms of pub­lic financ­ing:

The Depart­ment of Ener­gy will also be launch­ing the next round of Glob­al Light­ing and Ener­gy Access Part­ner­ship (Glob­al LEAP) Awards. These awards rec­og­nize super-effi­cient off-grid appli­ances such as fans and tele­vi­sions, which allow mod­est amounts of ener­gy to pro­vide a greater range of ser­vices than was pre­vi­ous­ly pos­si­ble. The Depart­ment of Ener­gy is also mak­ing four addi­tion­al announce­ments relat­ed to Glob­al LEAP, includ­ing estab­lish­ment of a mini-grids qual­i­ty assur­ance frame­work and an inter­ac­tive appli­ance data plat­form.

In addi­tion to this pub­lic financ­ing, the inde­pen­dent pri­vate com­mit­ments from 19 com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions amount to $125 mil­lion in new financ­ing for off-grid ener­gy in sub-Saha­ran Africa and South Asia. These inde­pen­dent com­mit­ments includ­ed $15 mil­lion from the David and Lucile Packard Foun­da­tion to Sun­Fun­der, Sim­pa Net­works, and Off-Grid Elec­tric, and $25 mil­lion from DBL Part­ners and SolarCi­ty into Off-Grid Elec­tric in a Series C round.

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