The Deep Dive: Off Grid - On Target

Wednesday, April 5th: 12:30 - 13:30 - Mezzanine

How energy providers are increasing productivity through decentralized solutions


Providing access to electricity to the 1.05 billion, predominantly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in pockets of East Asia and Latin America, is an urgent development priority. The past performance of many of these countries are a cause for concern for achieving universal access by 2030, but new technologies are breaking ground and together making this challenge seem achievable. Off-grid and distributed energy resources are now feasible at even smaller scales than previously, thanks to micropower and super-efficient appliance revolution, mini- and micro-grid designs for grid-parity functionality, and finally advances in storage solutions are pointing to network operations in both independent and integrated manner. Electricity connections to populations in remote and rural areas have enabled transformations through new economic opportunities and develop health services and education, especially to girls and women – enabling progress to be made on other Sustainable Development Goals. Even in very poor countries with inadequate or less than favorable policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, bold new initiatives have opened opportunities to the population. However, more needs to be done, with investment needing to increase five-fold to meet the SEforALL objective of universal access by 2030.

Sarah Best Senior researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
H.E. Ali Al Shaffar  Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE
Allison Archambault President Earthspark International
The Rev. Fletcher Harper Executive Director GreenFaith
Faris Hasan Director of Strategic Planning & Economic Services OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
Gareth Martin Head of Sustainable Energy, Climate and Environment Department Department for International Development (DFID)
Vijay Modi Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Infrastructure Programs, Millennium Villages Project Earth Institute, Columdia University