Access to Electricity

Electricity is a precondition for economic development. Yet 1.3 billion people in the world still have no access to electricity. Action is thus urgently needed. That is why EURELECTRIC – following the initiatives of the United Nations and the European Union - has launched its own initiative, called ‘Access to Electricity’ in June 2013.

The initiative is based on the following ideas:

  1. 1

    In line with EURELECTRIC’s mission, the initiative aims to promote the role of electricity in the advancement of society and at answering the challenges of sustainable development.

  2. 2

    The ‘Access to Electricity’ initiative aims to increase the visibility of the projects that many of our member companies have developed on energy access in developing countries.

  3. 3

    The initiative seeks to offer a transparent interface between our members and the European Commission on the important funding opportunities that the European Commission will provide in the coming years for access to electricity in developing countries.

In signing up to this initiative EURELECTRIC members pledge to contribute to universal energy access by 2030, and to integrate this objective into their organisational strategy and projects.

For the full text of our Initiative, go here.

BEST PRACTICES PROJECTS (listed in alphabetical order)

Electricity for All (IBERDROLA) Expand Content

With the “Electricity for all” programme, IBERDROLA is responding to the call made by the international community to bring universal access to modern forms of power, with provision models that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially inclusive. The “Electricity for All” programme aims to ensure access to electricity in emerging and developing countries. This ambitious initiative is centred on performing sustainable electrification actions, so it takes advantage of the company’s technical, logistical, organisational and financial capacity.

From the launch of the “Electricity for all” programme in January 2014, IBERDROLA has already contributed to over 800,000 people benefiting from access to electricity through projects carried out in different countries in Latin America and Africa. Currently, the programme is present in Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Kenya, Benin, Uganda and Tanzania, among other countries (see Programme Map). IBERDROLA is committed to reach 4,000,000 beneficiaries by 2020

“Electricity for all” has three lines of action:

  • > Finance projects through investment in capital
  • > Carry out activities by businesses in countries where IBERDROLA is present;
  • > Develop projects with a high social component, through NGOs and corporate volunteering.

For more information, visit the Electricity for All programme website.

Energy Assistance (ENGIE) Expand Content

Energy Assistance (EA) is a non-profit association created in Belgium in 2001 by employees from the ENGIE Group. Energy Assistance brings together volunteers, active or retired, from the ENGIE Group and the Belgian Distribution system operators.

The objective of the association is to offer the skills and expertise of its members with the help of technical support, in order to develop humanitarian small scale projects serving worldwide communities faced with limited access to energy. Projects include off-grid electricity generation, connecting isolated communities to the grid and upgrading of electrical installations. At the end of 2014, EA completed 181 projects in more than 30 countries.

EA has sister associations in France, Italy and Monaco. More information on Energy Assistance can be found on:

Ollagüe Project (Enel) Expand Content

In Enel, access to electricity means guaranteeing a reliable and affordable source of energy through the development of technological infrastructures (also fostering innovative solutions such as MiniGrid), the abating of economic barriers (fuel poverty), the supporting od technical training and capacity building, and the awareness on energy efficiency as well as a responsible use of energy.

One of Enel’s project related to Access to electricity is Ollagüe Project. This project aims to provide energy to about 300 people in a village of a Chilean desert area at more than 3600 meters. It is a very innovative hybrid solution and it is one of the first plants which have been built at high altitude, with an energy storage system with Li-ion batteries. The system also provides hot water to the local school and involves the population in basic maintenance.

The authorities and local universities have been also involved as partners in the project. For more information, visit the Ollagüe Project website.

Titimane Project (EDP) Expand Content

In the scope of UNEP's initiative "Clean Energy Mini-grids", EDP established a partnership to develop cost-effective, decentralized, clean energy applications in isolated off-grid communities. Following a screening process, an off-grid village was selected, Titimane, in Mozambique, given its favorable enabling conditions: a strong local partner SAN-JFS, biomass potential and a more compact village.

This project creates an opportunity to test a new business model (mini-utility based on fee-for-service) with innovative technologies (solar, storage, biomass, micro-grid, pre-payment) as a first step into a potentially large, attractive and unserved market.

The partners established an agreement with the Mozambican Government and in addition to owning capitals, they also obtained external financing from EEP (Energy and Environment Partnership) and OFID/ARE (The OPEC Fund for International Partnership) for the implementation of the project.

The construction of the mini-grid will begin in 2016 and is expected to start operating in 2017. This programme is a key contribution to the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative and aims to introduce clean energy mini-grid structures to currently unserved locations.

World Access to Modern Energy - WAME Expand Content

The WAME & Expo2015 Association was created by A2A, EDISON, Enel, Eni, E.ON Italia, Gas Natural Italia, ENGIE Italia, Tenaris and Expo2015 to inform visitors of the Milan EXPO 2015 (from May to October, there were 20 million expected) about the issues and solutions related to the lack of access to energy in the world, the theme of Expo2015 being «Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life».

For the first time in history, an issue of solidarity has been set at center stage of a Universal Exhibition. The aim of the Association is to inform and spread good practices. Information creates awareness and is the basis for action.

The website provides an introduction to the issue of access to energy, indicates different ways of solving the problem, and contains more than 800 project summaries and a number of case studies that provide more detailed information. It also includes stories and witnesses from the field.

WAME ran a call for case studies on projects for Access to Energy between October 2014 and February 2015. Up until now, it received 70 case studies from all over the world and gave away three prizes.

Other relevant initiatives (listed in alphabetical order) Expand Content

  • The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is an international business association focusing on the promotion and development of off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural electrification in developing countries. Since its creation in 2006, ARE serves as a platform for sharing knowledge and best-practices and it is a privileged partner for stakeholders in the energy field who want to engage the private sector.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called Global Goals, are an inter-governmentally agreed set of targets relating to international development. They will replace the Millennium Development Goals once those expire at the end of 2015. The SDGs were first formally discussed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20). On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda entitled “Transforming our world”. “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” is one of the 17 listed goals.

  • Since 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has led global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), mobilising action from all sectors of society in support of three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030: providing universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvement; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

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  • Rabia IKRAM

    Brexit & Sustainable Development, Social Dialogue
    Access to Energy

    Tel.: +32 2 515 10 72