COVID-19 and the energy access sector: Impacts and opportunities for support
This Virtual Summit is convened by Sustainable Energy for All, Ashden and ESMAP for 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 to consumers.
The COVID-19 crisis is causing upheaval and impacting individuals, businesses and economies across the world. Now, more than ever, the importance of access to electricity and clean cooking has become clear. Access to electricity keeps people connected, protects vulnerable populations, powers vital health facilities and saves lives. Access to clean cooking solutions and the reduction in indoor air pollution means less vulnerability to COVID-19 and the other risks associated with traditional biomass.
The enterprises providing off-grid electricity connections and clean cooking solutions are experiencing severe disruptions, with dwindling financial capacity and struggling to reach new customers. Many have already suspended operations or delayed activities. For smaller and indigenous companies, the impact can be most severe. The pandemic has also impacted consumer affordability and increased the risk for vulnerable households to fall back into energy poverty.
Remarks will be provided by:
- Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy
- Harriet Lamb, CEO of Ashden
- Rohit Khanna, Program Manager of ESMAP