Globally, close to a billion people live without electricity, while almost three billion people still rely on low-quality biomass, coal and kerosene for cooking. Cooking with biomass has a negative health effect on more people than AIDS and malaria combined. Access to modern sustainable energy technology is crucial to human well-being and a prerequisite for economic development.

Taking a market-based approach, SNV works with public and private partners to develop energy markets for bio-digesters, clean cooking and off-grid electricity. Clean cookstoves and bio-digesters reduce indoor air pollution and related health hazards, decrease carbon emissions and help households, in particular women, save time and money. Bioslurry generated from digesters is a potent organic fertiliser and is often referred to as ‘brown gold’. Powered by solar and other renewable energy sources, our projects will offer households, businesses and institutions off-grid electricity. SNV will enhance its work on the productive use of energy in selected agricultural value chains, including through mini-grids, for example for solar pumps for irrigation, cooling for storing milk or other perishables, and processing purposes. We will also expand our work in informal refugee settlements.

Our work on biogas markets applies our decades-long expertise to specific local market conditions. We have also established a track record in introducing improved cookstoves and off-grid electricity solutions. Our approach is anchored in market research. Based on our local know-how and as appropriate, we combine demand creation, technical and business advice for entrepreneurs, incentives to distribute quality products, support to government agencies to run market-based energy programmes and advice to improve enabling environments. We offer early-stage grants and results-based financing to help de-risk commercial investments and incentivise companies to engage in underserved areas. Alongside, we advocate for more funding for decentralised energy services, for the removal of regulatory barriers to make the energy sector more attractive to business investors and for national quality standards. In the four years 2019 to 2022, we will significantly contribute to systems change in eight countries by kick-starting sustainable energy markets.


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