EnDev at the ARE Energy Access Investment Forum in Lisbon
22 March 2017
EnDev was invited to contribute with its expertise on technical assistance for rural electrification in developing countries at the Energy Access Investment Forum.
With concerted efforts to mobilise key stakeholders to invest in off-grid renewables in developing and emerging markets, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) together with Energias de Portugal (EDP) and the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) organised a two-day investment forum in Lisbon, Portugal on 22-23 March 2017. The forum was attended by over 300 representatives from the media, public and private sector, including high-level institutions, financiers, technical support and solution providers as well as project developers.
The ARE Energy Access Investment Summit on 22 March 2017 provided participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of current policy frameworks, financial trends and technical support tools available and how to best use them. In support of the European Commission’s recent initiative to promote women entrepreneurship, the Summit highlighted the importance of empowering women in the sustainable energy sector as key change agents to achieve SEforAll objectives.
EnDev advisor Michael Köberlein participated at the panel discussion on Technical Assistance for Rural Electrification and highlighted the importance of technical assistance for market development and shared EnDev’s experience with technical assistance in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the audience.
In the discussion Michael stressed the importance of demand side development for pro-poor markets encompassing measures of knowledge enhancement, awareness raising as well as capacity building for local entrepreneurs and last-mile distributors. He stated that technical assistance is substantially required to overcome the barriers and risks which currently dominate these underdeveloped and distorted markets. With its activities EnDev lays the ground for national and international entrepreneurs to invest in so-far underserved markets.
Edu Willemse, SNV’s market development manager for energy, complemented EnDev’s experience by presenting some best practises from solar and mini-grid projects implemented by SNV in cooperation with EnDev.
Edu mentioned the pico solar project in Kenya in which a network of over 200 last mile distributors is supported with technical assistance. He highlighted that this has resulted in the sales of 34,000 solar lanterns and solar home systems in 2016 alone. The issue of quality assurance was picked up by panel member, Francoise Rauser, manager at IEC, a well-known international organisation dealing with setting quality standards for technical equipment and devices.
Other panellist included representatives from energy multinational Schneider Electric and from the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). The lively discussion was moderated by Mr Pablo Astorga, senior manager at energy multinational ABB. Some 250 participants, most of which from the private sector, followed the discussion.