Free Online Tools to Accelerate Renewable Energy Adoption in sub-Saharan Africa

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  • A new online platform has been launched  to provide practical information and enable peer-to-peer networking for innovators developing technologies and business models to help end energy poverty.
  • The new Energy Catalyst Community is the latest addition to the Energy Catalyst, a UK government-funded programme designed to accelerate access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia through grant funding, business acceleration support and brokerage activity.

Despite progress in recent years, the global community is significantly behind in meeting the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) of ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. For example, four billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy.

Without sustained efforts, 620 million people will be left without access to electricity in 2030 and   85 percent of them will be in sub-Saharan Africa.Cooperation is central to an expedited solution. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), international collaboration can increase effectiveness and maximise the impact of energy technology innovation.

To address this need, Energy Catalyst is designed to benefit the wider energy access ecosystem by creating partnerships, promoting learning, and funding the testing and demonstration of innovations that can accelerate energy access sector progress.

Through the new Energy Catalyst Community, a range of open-access reports, tools and guides are now available to help innovators solve challenges faster and deliver impact. In addition, companies who have received grant support through the Energy Catalyst will be able to access a member-only area that will be launched in early 2021, to facilitate collaboration with other grantees and encourage knowledge exchange to develop and commercialise solutions.

Dr Nicola Lazenby, Innovation Lead, Energy Catalyst, at Innovate UK said:

Through Energy Catalyst, Innovate UK provides funding to pioneers who are developing solutions that will help to close the energy access gap for millions of people. We have supported over 150 projects across nearly 30 countries based on a wide range of technologies including clean cooking stoves, energy storage, distributed solar, biomass and mini-grids. With the launch of the new Energy Catalyst Community platform, we want to harness the full benefit of the knowledge gathered over the past five years and make this and ongoing lessons learnt accessible to help educate, inform and build capacity in the wider market.”

The Energy Catalyst Community platform has been developed as part of the Energy Catalyst Accelerator, which provides commercialisation support to Energy Catalyst grantees and a range of learning exchange and educational activities for wider energy access stakeholders. It is funded by Innovate UK and delivered in cooperation with partners including the Carbon Trust, Energy 4 Impact, Power for All, Intellecap and Open Capital Advisors.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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