Day 3 Group photo SEforALL forum in Kigali

Growing our influence and impact – SEforALL’s highlights from 2022 


This year Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Having started as an initiative within the UN, our sphere of influence and impact on the global sustainable energy movement have evolved greatly over the past decade. 

Our 2022 work demonstrates our ability to build higher ambition, stronger policy and planning, and faster results, all of which are urgently needed to achieve affordable and clean energy for all by 2030 and net-zero emissions by mid-century. 

Of course, our work would not be possible without the support and collaboration of our many partners and funders, who we would like to thank for their commitment to helping us build a better future through sustainable energy. 

As the year comes to an end, now is a good time to look back at what we’ve achieved together. 

Higher ambition 

Our advocacy and diplomacy work aims to build high-level political support for energy access and transition around the world. In 2022, we enabled critical dialogues on energy among global leaders and secured significant new energy commitments from governments, companies, financiers, and others. 

SEforALL Forum 

Co-hosted with the Government of Rwanda, the Forum brought together the global energy, climate and development communities to learn, inspire and collaborate. Our partners used this global platform as an opportunity to launch new partnerships and commitments towards the energy transition. Collectively, they announced an impressive USD 347 million in commitments over the three days in Kigali, along with the launch of several important new initiatives, including Mission Efficiency, a global coalition dedicated to improving energy efficiency.  

Youth engagement at the Forum was extensive, with more than 300 youth bringing their voices to the various Forum sessions. Young people’s futures truly are at stake with the energy transition, so we make it a priority to support them in accessing today’s energy sector leaders. 

Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Kigali, Rwanda
Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Kigali, Rwanda

Ministerial Roundtables  

To foster collaboration among African countries in defining and advancing a just and equitable energy transition for Africa, we organized a Ministerial Roundtable at the Forum in Kigali. There, ten countries agreed on seven transformative actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7, outlining them in the Kigali Communique, which signals to the global community where support is needed in Africa for energy access and transition efforts. 

As a next step towards garnering this support, we held similar roundtables on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September and at COP27 in November. Importantly, the conversation at COP27 was organized as an Africa-Europe Ministerial Roundtable, which we hosted along with the Africa-Europe Foundation. African and European ministers listened to each other and strategized on how to accelerate Africa’s race towards a just and equitable energy transition while working together. 

There is now greater momentum for Europe to support Africa in achieving its energy goals, something that will be aided by establishing a “Africa-Europe Energy Leaders’ Group.” 

Africa-EU Ministerial meeting
Africa-EU Ministerial meeting


The UN climate conference was also a major moment for us because of the SDG7 Pavilion, which we again hosted with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). For the second year in a row, the pavilion was the main hub at COP for discussing and showcasing how to unite global efforts on energy, climate and development, and it served as a platform for the launch of several exciting new initiatives. 

With GEAPP and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, we launched the ground-breaking Africa Carbon Markets Initiative at COP27, which aims to support the growth of voluntary carbon markets in Africa for financing clean energy access and transition. With Bloomberg Philanthropies, we also announced our partnership with the government of Ghana to develop an Energy Transition Plan that will provide a detailed, data-driven pathway for the country and its partners to achieve its energy and climate goals. 


Energy Compacts 

In 2022, we also continued to promote and secure Energy Compacts along with our UN-Energy partners. Launched at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy in 2021, this platform has led to nearly 200 approved commitments towards SDG7 and climate goals. Many of these commitments are already being acted upon, with USD 46 billion in investment having already been generated, 88 GW of renewable energy capacity installed, and 2,450 GWh of energy saved through energy efficiency measures, according to the first Energy Compact Progress Report prepared by UN-Energy.   

Several compacts continue to attract new signatories, including those related to No New Coal, Green Hydrogen, Powering Healthcare, and 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy, proving the value of Energy Compacts in mobilizing action. 

Stronger policy and planning 

We help countries establish policies, regulations and plans that enable sustainable energy development. In 2022, we worked directly with countries and stakeholders in their energy sectors on bespoke plans that will attract investment and technical assistance.  

Energy Transition Plans 

These data-driven national plans are created to identify viable pathways for countries to end energy poverty and achieve net-zero emissions while marking opportunities for stakeholders to support these efforts. Nigeria was the first country to develop such a plan in 2021, with the support of the COP26 Energy Transition Council and SEforALL. 

Although it was first unveiled at COP26, the government launched the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan in August this year. At the launch, the World Bank announced it had committed USD 1.5 billion towards the plan for renewable energy, power sector reforms, clean cooking, and additional opportunities.  

We are now working closely with the Office of the Vice-President in Nigeria to help attract the plan’s targeted finance and assistance. Our work is being carried out through our new office in Abuja by a specific team dedicated to supporting the government. 

Ghana has already partnered with us to develop their own Energy Transition Plan in 2023, and we will pursue similar partnerships with Barbados and additional countries as we grow this important body of work with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Ghana ETP launch
Ghana ETP launch

Integrated Energy Plans  

We are setting the standard for what a best-in-class integrated energy plan should be and working with partners to make sure countries harness this important framework. 

The plans use geospatial data and tools to identify the efficient integration of on- and off-grid solutions for energy supply (i.e., grid extension, mini-grids, and standalone solutions like solar home systems), while also considering demand-side factors like affordability. Together, this provides vital market intelligence to support investment. 

In 2022, we collaborated with both Nigeria and Malawi to develop their integrated energy plans and launched online platforms for both so country stakeholders can easily access data for their decision-making. 

Research, analysis and tools 

A wide body of research and analysis underpins both our country engagement and global advocacy. In 2022, we developed new lines of research in response to country needs, such as a Powering Healthcare Nigeria Market Assessment and Roadmap, and practical tools to support policy-making, such as our new online Knowledge Hub

We continued to provide thought leadership in the area of sustainable cooling thanks support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Clean Cooling Collaborative.  We again published our Chilling Prospects research, this time with a wider set of case studies, sectoral cooling data, and analysis of the enabling environment for cooling. And our cooling needs assessment framework has been adopted by the Cool Coalition for its global methodology for National Cooling Action Plans, which several countries have already implemented. 

Faster Results 

The world needs to scale and speed up energy access and transition efforts. Finance really is the lynchpin of progress, which is why we established a results-based finance facility two years ago to catalyse energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ensuring the fast delivery of electrification projects for critical services like healthcare is also a priority for us, especially given the recent COVID-19 pandemic. 

Universal Energy Facility (UEF) 

The UEF took a dramatic leap forward in 2022 on multiple fronts, thanks in large part to transformative new funding from the GEAPP and the IKEA Foundation. 

A major highlight was the first set of electricity connections being established by mini-grids in Madagascar with projects financed by the facility. Thus far, the facility has paid out results-based grants for 654 electricity connections under its wave 1 mini-grids programme, with thousands more connections anticipating for 2023 across Benin, Madagascar and Sierra Leone. 

Meanwhile, we launched a second wave of mini-grid finance this year for companies operating in Madagascar and Sierra Leone, and a new UEF-supported country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

Nigeria also became a UEF-supported country with the launch of a Standalone Solar for Productive Use programme, which is designed to scale up electricity access to households, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while displacing polluting diesel generators. There has been remarkable interest in this programme from energy developers, who will break ground on their projects in early 2023. 

Mini-grids enable fast and sustainable development in rural areas

Powering Sierra Leone’s Hospitals  

COVID-19 underscored how essential it is for health services to have reliable electricity, which is why our growing portfolio of Powering Healthcare work aims to accelerate electricity connections for health facilities in Africa.  

Following a detailed energy needs assessment in Sierra Leone, we are now managing the electrification of six key hospitals in Sierra Leone with support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, directly impacting health service delivery and eliminating fuel consumption by adding more than 0.5MWp of installed solar PV capacity to the health sector. 


Looking ahead to 2023 

Having achieved the above in 2022, we must now look to expand on both our longstanding bodies of work and nascent initiatives in the year to come. 

We will continue to focus on advocacy and diplomacy to build global ambition and political support for SDG7 and energy transition, notably through engagement in major global fora like the G20 in India and COP28. 

At the same time, we will continue to directly support priority countries, particularly by helping them create stronger policy and regulations with Integrated Energy Plans and Energy Transition Plans that will mobilize finance, as well as directing funding to energy projects through the UEF, which we hope to grow into a USD 100 million facility by the end of 2023.  

We will also support the growth of the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative to attract energy and climate finance to Africa, and we plan to work with countries to grow their domestic renewable energy manufacturing, helping them reap the economic benefits of localized industries. 

Importantly, we will continue to elevate areas of the energy transition that often get overlooked, including ensuring the transition supports gender and intergenerational equity. Along these lines, expanding our efforts to offer training opportunities to women and youth and ensuring their engagement in energy and climate negotiations will be a key priority in 2023. 

Once again, thank you to all our partners and funders, whose support is critical to our work. We value your commitment to ending energy poverty and fighting climate change, and we look forward to another busy and impactful year of collaboration with you in 2023.