COVID-19 response: Supporting the off-grid energy sector
Access to electricity keeps people connected, protects vulnerable populations, keeps ventilators on and saves lives. Off-grid companies are critical for reaching populations beyond the grid and for more rapid deployment of electricity solutions, for households and for health clinics.
The enterprises providing off-grid electricity connections and clean cooking solutions are experiencing severe disruptions due to COVID-19, with many suspending operations and some at risk of collapsing. We are working with partners to provide a data-driven perspective on the impacts and support needed by these enterprises, as well as to helping coordinate and target support so they can continue to operate and expand.
The Universal Energy Facility, a results-based financing facility managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), is now open – with its first wave devoted to supporting mini-grid deployment in Sierra Leone and Madagascar.
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the World Bank’s ESMAP program and Ashden co-hosted a virtual summit to bring together government and philanthropic donors to hear the latest data and insights from energy access enterprises, the challenges they are facing on the ground as a result of this crisis, and the impact this is having on consumers.
In this guide, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) sets out clear, practical steps for African countries to follow so they will benefit from increased GDP, affordable energy provision, and improved agriculture, gender and health outcomes - all as they reset their economies and close energy access gaps.
COVID-19 has devastated tourism-based, import-dependent economies across the Caribbean. Some Caribbean power utilities reported a 50–60 percent loss in electrical load in March alone, a clear indicator that the economy is depressed. Recovery from such devastation may be slow but it can also be revolutionary.
Photo: UNDP Peru / Monica Suárez Galindo