Investment is a common thread running through all Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) interventions, highlighting the large volumes of capital required to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) targets. Our Energizing Finance report shows that of the USD 36 billion in total finance for electricity access in 2017, only USD 12.6 billion was estimated to support new access for households, representing just one quarter of the estimated annual investment of USD 51 billion required to meet universal access. An annual investment of USD 4.4 billion is required to close access gaps, yet only USD 32 million in finance commitments for clean cooking solutions were tracked—representing less than 1 percent of the estimated finance required for universal clean cooking access by 2030. The outlook for renewables is also below par – despite revolutionary advances in renewable energy technologies, finance for off-grid energy solutions amounts to only 1.3% of all funds flowing to electrification. We advocate for more investment in sustainable, renewable energy – both on and off the grid.
For universal access to sustainable energy, we need to attract long-term investment through the value chain. Technology developers and start-ups must be supported with research and development funding to make new energy technologies a reality. We also need to ensure patient capital is available to encourage entrepreneurship and grow small businesses providing innovative energy solutions. Financiers must innovate to provide appropriate finance for projects and enterprises and help build underserved markets.
We promote investments that will help realize projects and nurture innovative business models that close the energy access gap and meet SDG7 ambitions. We prioritize efforts to catalyze investment and entrepreneurship. Our Energy Efficiency First workstream encourages leaders to unlock finance and broker partnerships so that energy efficiency and demand-side solutions become core to energy plans and business strategies. We promote a shift of capital away from fossil fuel generated energy to investment in low-carbon development.
Other interventions generate evidence and promote investment in various dimensions of energy access: Energizing Finance, Shifting Financial Flows (from fossil fuels into low carbon energy in Southeast Asia), Big Markets for Clean Fuels, and Cooling for All. We also work with governments in countries with significant energy access deficits to help them identify and showcase energy sector investment opportunities. We communicate with and convene leaders to drive conversations around sustainable energy finance, and to share expertise and ideas.