Headlines

Global LEAP and Partners Launch Innovative Off-Grid Market Acceleration Program

27 May 2015

The Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) is partnering with Energising Development (EnDev), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and CLASP to launch an innovative energy access program. The market acceleration program will provide results-based financing incentives to support bulk purchases of off-grid appliances that have won or been named a finalist in Global LEAP Awards competitions. By helping to make these high-quality, highly energy-efficient appliances more accessible to consumers, the program will improve access to clean energy services and strengthen off-grid renewable energy markets.

Man with a solar panelThe new partnership will galvanize off-grid appliance markets in two ways. First, the Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards will identify the world’s highest-quality and most energy-efficient off-grid appliances. Then the partnership will provide results-based incentives to off-grid energy companies that sell these efficient appliances with their small-scale solar energy systems.

This is precisely the type of dynamic, innovative effort we envisioned when we launched Global LEAP at the third Clean Energy Ministerial in 2012,” said Caroline McGregor, the Global LEAP initiative lead. “We look forward to working with EnDev, IFC, CLASP, and others to make this program a success.”

The challenges for companies working to provide energy services to un- and under-electrified consumers stem largely from the untested, risky market landscape. This program will encourage appliance manufacturers to design and market excellent off-grid appliances, reward them for doing so, and mitigate early-mover risks for both appliance manufacturers and off-grid energy companies. To encourage healthy business environments for participating companies, the program will also support a variety of market development activities, including business-to-business matchmaking and policy maker and investor education efforts.

“This represents the next step for the energy access marketplace,” said Russell Sturm, who leads IFC’s Lighting Global initiative. “To keep the global off-grid solar market moving, we need a strong off-grid appliance market that complements it—enabling the under-served to affordably access modern energy services and enter a new world.”

An estimated 1.2 billion people throughout the developing world live entirely without access to electricity. Another 1 billion have only unreliable access. For those living “beyond the grid,” small-scale renewable energy systems provide reliable modern energy services. These systems and the clean energy services they enable replace dirty fuels like kerosene and drive positive health, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts. Highly energy-efficient appliances make the most of the limited energy provided by these small-scale energy systems and reduce the size of the systems needed to power them, and therefore make modern energy services far more affordable. A recent Global LEAP analysis found that super-efficient appliances can reduce the price of off-grid solar by up to 50%.

“Weaving together energy efficiency and energy access offers a colossal opportunity,” said Christine Egan, CLASP’s CEO & Executive Director. “We couldn’t be happier to apply our expertise to this issue. A collective effort is needed to help build clean energy markets the right way from the start.”

The Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards support self-sustaining commercial markets for off-grid energy products by identifying and promoting the most energy-efficient, affordable, highest quality appliances. The first Global LEAP Award-winning appliances were named in 2014 and recognized at the fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) meeting. Future Award winners will be recognized at the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in 2016. 

Read more about the program on the Clean Energy Ministerial website.