The 2017 edition of the Poor People's Energy Outlook (PPEO) considers how to best finance national integrated energy access plans for Bangladesh, Kenya and Togo based on the PPEO 2016 analysis. The report looks at the mix of technologies and funding required to achieve national and global energy access goals; and the roles of civil society and the private and public sectors in making this a reality.

A couple stand outside a financial services association in Kenya
Credit: Practical Action / Edoardo Santangelo

Energy access and the SDGs

Previous PPEOs demonstrate how universal energy access is key to achieving almost every Sustainable Development Goal. And we know that appropriate and sustainable financing is, in turn, key to achieving universal energy access. But what sorts of financing mechanisms are actually available, and are they reaching the energy-poor people most in need?

The energy access financing gap 

The availability of finance is a central driver of progress towards achieving universal access to electricity and clean cooking; and decentralised energy systems have, in recent times, attracted new funding from a range of sources. However, it is widely recognized that this new financing is not enough, and not all of the correct type, to ensure the world reaches its challenging goal of universal, sustainable and modern energy access by 2030.

It is also clear that a large funding gap remains. In 2013, $13.1 billion was invested in energy access, with 97% targeting electricity and only 3% spent on clean cooking. Much of this was concentrated in a few countries, and such investments were overwhelmingly directed to the power sector; either to increase generation capacity or to extend the grid. Clearly, appropriate and sustainable financing will be the key to achieving SDG7.


Financing national energy access: a bottom up approach

Briefing paper summarising key findings and recommendations from the Poor People's Energy Outlook (PPEO) 2017 report. In this edition of the PPEO, which builds on analysis and recommendations from the 2016 edition, we use bottom-up, integrated energy...


The finance gap: a bottom up perspective

In PPEO 2016, we created integrated energy access plans for 12 communities in Bangladesh, Kenya and Togo, based on communities' energy access priorities. In the 2017 edition, we scale these community energy plans to the national level, generating national financing estimates, and, using community figures on willingness to pay, estimate the financing gap. We also create estimates for the cooking and electricity technology mix that would close the national access gap; situating these estimates within the national and global energy access financing contexts. Our research shows that:

  • Distributed technologies (mini-grids and stand alone systems) are the least cost solution for meeting the needs of the majority of those remaining unconnected; 
  • Based on communities' preference for clean cooking fuels and technologies, national financing must rise to levels comparable with those for electricity access;
  • National financing strategies need to address energy for productive uses as urgently as household needs. This can account for a substantial part of the costs of provision;
  • Financing systems can and should actively promote gender equity in energy access, which is critical for more sustained, appropriate and equitable solutions.

The report is the second in a suite of three new PPEOs; it is preceded by the PPEO 2016, which explores energy access planning from the bottom up, and will be followed by the PPEO 2018 which will look at how to achieve integrated energy access at scale.

PPEO videos and radio interview

Listen to our Senior Energy Policy Adviser, Lucy Stevens, speak to DW radio about the PPEO and ending energy poverty by 2030 (starting at 15 mins 13 secs); the transcript is also available to read online.

Sharing findings from the PPEO 2017 were introduced at the SEforAll Forum in April, and the full research was launched at the Vienna Energy Forum with comments from panellists Dana Rysankova, World Bank; Radha Muthiah, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves; and Peter Storey, Private Finance Advisory Network (PFAN). 

Vienna Energy Forum video, part 1:

Vienna Energy Forum video, part 2:

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