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Sustainable Energy 4 All

The sessions will highlight:

  • Why off-grid solar is critical for achieving Sustainable Energy for All
  • How off-grid solar can be deployed rapidly and at low-cost by the end of this decade

The extraordinary impacts that small solar products bring to health, education, environment, well-being, savings and enterprise; solar lights in Africa are already saving an estimated $500,000,000 each year and enabling a significant increase in productivity

With 1.3 billion living off-grid and a rapidly expanding global population, the first levels of energy access – lights, phone chargers and solar home systems – are crucial for ensuring that Sustainable Energy for All leaves no one behind. Distributed energy offers the opportunity to reach huge numbers of people at low cost, often with subsidy-free solutions. The impact will be profound, creating savings and productivity gains at household level, in public sector services, and in small-scale private enterprise.

“Large fossil-fuel projects take 3-5 years to deliver electricity. Smaller, off-grid renewable energy projects can bring power to the people much faster. They must be the way forward.” Kandeh Yumkella, Chairman of Sustainable Energy for All

Our research shows that switching from kerosene to solar lights enable some of the world’s poorest families to save around 10% of their income. They then invest these savings into more nutritious food, education and enterprise. The knock on effects are extraordinary. As well as those relating to income and job creation, there are significant health and environmental benefits and children can study for an extra hour each night.

“The first watt of energy has the greatest impact. Solar light enables children to gain a better education and reduces the need for kerosene lamps which produce toxic fumes and lead to deadly fires and accidents. The huge growth in the time available for economic activity, as well as the financial savings, are already helping millions to lift themselves from poverty and provide a much needed boost to local economies in some of the world’s poorest regions.” Charlie Miller

A recent survey by Global LEAP concluded that that in unelectrified areas across the globe it is unequivocally light – rather than televisions, radios or even mobile phone chargers – which have the highest likely demand and the greatest potential impact. Given the huge savings that a switch from kerosene to to solar light creates, and the way that extra hours of light can be used for productive enterprise, a solar light provides a gateway to a brighter future.

“It is crucial to recognise that the benefit from savings is potentially at least as great as the benefit from increased productivity.” Charlie Miller

Sustainable Energy for All Sessions

For more details on attending Sustainable Energy for All and the Sessions on ‘Off-Grid Electrification: Evidence of Impact’ (18 May, 9.20am) and ‘Off-grid Lighting and Electrification: How Businesses and Public Sector Working Together Can Realise Universal Electricity Access Ahead of 2030’ (18 May, 11.05am) please click here.

Please let us know if you would like more details or to contact Charlie to arrange an interview.

About Sustainable Energy for All

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative with three global targets: to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, all by 2030. Ban Ki-moon himself studied under the dim light of a kerosene lamp and explained while addressing the World Future Energy Summit:

“A simple light bulb illuminated a whole new world of opportunity for me, enabling me to study day and night… I want the same opportunity for all young boys and girls around the world. Widespread energy poverty still condemns billions to darkness, to ill-health, to missed opportunities for education and prosperity… That is why I say, energy poverty must end.” Ban Ki-moon

The First Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum officially launched the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024, as declared by the UN General Assembly. The inaugural Forum, held 4-6 June 2014 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, brought together nearly 1000 participants from government, international organizations, business and civil society. This year’s event will be held 18-21 May.