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Catalyzing greater financing choices for people who want to buy high-quality, affordable energy

Catalyzing greater financing choices for people who want to buy high-quality, affordable energy

Results of the UNCDF Energy Access Challenge in Cambodia, Myanmar and Uganda
February 15 , 2016
Bangkok, Thailand - 

66, 68 and 85 -- these numbers represent the percentage of the population that do not have access to reliable grid electricity in Cambodia, Myanmar and Uganda, respectively. From another perspective, it also is a market of 78 million people who could benefit from distributed energy solutions. In all three countries, close to 90 percent or more of the population still cook using biomass in very traditional ways.     

In September 2015, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) CleanStart and Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programmes jointly launched the Energy Access Challenge. The challenge, put forth by UNCDF to companies, was to innovatively lower the affordability barrier for low-income consumers who want to pay for modern clean energy. A total of 113 Expressions of Interest were submitted by companies globally, 18 companies were shortlisted, out of which 10 companies were awarded performance-based financing to launch new business lines in Cambodia, Myanmar and Uganda.

Between 2016-2017, UNCDF will be investing US$2.8 million in risk capital to seed innovations in energy financing to the selected 10 energy and financial service providers. By the end of 2017, these ten companies aim to sell high-quality and affordable distributed energy solutions to more than 178,000 low-income consumers. This roughly translates to 890,000 people who would benefit from the shift to clean energy. More than half of the consumers are expected to be women.

Energy products that these ten companies will offer range from solar lanterns, solar home systems, and clean cook stoves. To make these solutions more affordable to customers, these companies are taking full advantage of technological advancements in smart devices, digital payments, and data analytics, in addition to building up last-mile distribution capacity.

Partner Profile

Country

Company

Technology

Cambodia

Kamworks

Solar home system

Cambodia

Hydrologic

Clean cook stove

Myanmar

Brighterlite

Solar home system

Myanmar

Greenlight Planet

Solar lantern and home system

Myanmar

BioLite

Clean cook stove

Uganda

BioLite

Clean cook stove

Uganda

d.light

Solar home system

Uganda

Eco Group

Clean cook stove and solar home system

Uganda

FINCA Uganda Ltd (MDI)

High Volume Low denomination (Solar Energy financing/loan product).

 

Starting with Solar Lanterns

Uganda

Village Power

PAYG market database and other investment tools

Innovation and scale is the name of the game. The race has started. We hope these innovations will have a ripple effect and inspire others to adopt winning strategies.

Stay tuned for updates as the next UNCDF Challenge Fund Window opens on the 22nd February 2016. The Challenge? UNCDF’s SHIFT programme invites financial institutions, non-financial institutions and real economic actors to develop or scale-up innovative and sustainable business models and cross-sector partnerships for advancing women’s financial inclusion.

For more information, please contact
Vincent Wierda
Programme Manager - CleanStart Programme
Feisal Hussain
Senior Regional Technical Advisor
Additional Information
Vincent Wierda
Programme Manager - CleanStart Programme