Direct naar content EnDev

The browser you are using is not supported. To get the best experience, please install the latest version of a more recent browser.

Productive Use of Energy

Energising Opportunities through PUE

Without access to modern energy, economic development is massively hindered, as is poverty alleviation. Thus – while being committed towards leaving no one behind – EnDev targets the local private sector by providing energy for productive uses. Productive uses of energy are those that increase the profitability of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through increased income and productivity.

For example, if a seamstress adopts an electric sewing machine or a farmer can make use of milk cooling tanks, they can dramatically increase production and improve their incomes. These small entrepreneurs may then use the higher income to employ others – or to improve their family’s health and educational opportunities.

EnDev’s Ambition Level

EnDev seeks to unleash economic opportunities by creating and strengthening markets for renewable energy, in particular for the poor, ensuring no one is left behind. Energy markets cannot be sustainable without increased economic uses of the energy services. EnDev is therefore taking an active role in seeking ways to support PUE across its portfolio, using a variety of approaches and tools, and in partnership with other relevant development actors. Particularly in poor and rural communities, as well as in displacement settings, support for productive use of energy is key to sustainable services and improved livelihoods associated with energy access. In its activities, EnDev especially considers women’s entrepreneurship as a driver of change, as productive uses increase income and contribute to self-empowerment (> Gender and EnDev).

Through promotion of PUE, EnDev further seeks to:

  • strengthen rural economic activity
  • increase small and medium sized enterprises’ productivity
  • increase job creation
  • mobilise increased resources for economic and social development

Overall, EnDev’s impact on economic development is therefore directly linked to SDG 8 “Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment”.

A welding business in Rwanda: EnDev strives to create an environment where (women) entrepreneurs can unleash their economic potential. © AVSI


Energy access projects with a PUE component are more likely to achieve economic sustainability due to distinct reasons:​

  • Sustainability of service: Reliable payments for the provision of energy are crucial to ensure that related business models – such as those of mini-grid operators or PAYG companies – are viable. In that regard, enterprises generating profits through productive use of electricity have a higher ability to pay for energy services than private households who use electricity for purely consumptive purposes. This increases the economic sustainability of energy provision to rural communities.
  • Credit-worthiness: Obtaining financing for rural energy infrastructure may be easier if (rural) banks/microfinance institutions see economic activity being spurred and generating revenues.
  • Moving to higher tier access: Income generating activities improve the local community’s ability to pay. As businesses grow, this economic development can make ‘climbing the energy ladder’ possible. That means an increasing number of households, or an entire group, can afford higher tier energy technologies and services, i.e. better lighting and more electric appliances – which increases well-being and opportunity.

A Spotlight on Farmers: Sustainable Energy for Smallholder Farmers (SEFFA) in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda  


Increasing productivity and value-addition can be one of the most relevant means to improve smallholder farmers livelihoods and increase their resilience to climate change impacts. At the same time, using renewable energy technologies contributes to emissions reduction. With support from the IKEA Foundation, EnDev’s SEFFA Innovation Fund with a budget of EUR 8 million promotes productive use of renewable energy projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, with a special focus on women and youth.

Project page: Learn more about SEFFA

Highlights from EnDev’s interventions

  • Assessing the PUE sector in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
    Commissioned as part of the SEFFA project, this PUE study provides information on the energy needs of smallholder farmers.
  • Customer insights on PUE in Tanzania
    This report presents insights from customers of six companies participating in the EnDev Tanzania Green Economic Recovery Fund.
  • Winning solutions in refugee settings
    The Smart Communities Innovation Fund (SCCIF) presents winning solutions that also focus on PUE activities.
  • Stories from rural women entrepreneurs in Bolivia
    This video tells the stories of rural women entrepreneurs in Bolivia (in Spanish with English subtitles).
  • EnDev’s impact in terms of PUE in Ghana
    After EnDev’s long-standing engagement in Ghana, a closing report illuminates the impact in the area of PUE.
  • Moving to scalable business cases
    PUE can have transformative impact in rural communities. EnDev, in collaboration with SNV, has collected innovative approaches connected to PUE in a practical analysis.

EnDev’s Achievements

  • 102,820

    micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with access to modern form of energy for productive use.
  • 32,610

    people are newly employed in jobs that can be attributed to EnDev.
  • 35%

    of the employees in the supported MSMEs are women.

Strategic Partners

Scents from the Amazon with Woman’s Energy