Based on an in-depth understanding of market dynamics and consumer insights, our experts determine contextualised solutions for the effective dissemination of clean energy technologies to a diverse pool of consumers.

Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, as highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goal no. 7, is at the heart of our work. We tackle both the supply of and demand for clean technologies by partnering with local expert organisations, training entrepreneurs to enter competitive markets, linking businesses to form effective networks, and increasing awareness and demand for cleaner energy products.

We work with local and leading clean-tech start-ups as well as with established organisations to bring reliable products to end-users and do so by using mechanisms that adapt to consumers' purchasing power. This way, we develop an enabling environment which outlasts our intervention and perpetuates the benefits long after we are gone. Our projects facilitate market development, strengthen value chains and trigger job creation and income growth. The solar PV devices, bio-digesters and improved cookstoves we promote in our programmes have improved the lives of more than 6 million people to date. 

Martijn Veen

Global Sector Coordinator Sustainable Energy Markets

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Our products

Off-grid electricity

We provide low-income households access to energy for consumption and production through off-grid solar and mini-grid electrification.

Solar PV
Off-grid solar provides brighter and healthier lighting for base of the pyramid (BoP) households and generates significant savings. We support distribution networks for quality solar lamps and home systems for better lighting, phone charging and other efficient appliances. By the end of 2015 we had helped install or distribute almost 222,000 devices and systems, improving the lives of 1.25 million people.

Mini-grids for domestic, institutional and productive use, powered by solar PV, bio-energy or pico-hydro can be a viable and cost-effective route to electrification where the distance from the grid is too large and the population density too low to economically justify a grid connection. We have supported the site selection, design, construction, management and operation of different mini-grids across the world.

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Clean cooking and heating

Our clean cooking and heating solutions reduce indoor air pollution and related health hazards, decrease carbon emissions and help increase safety and cost savings for households, in particular for women. At the heart of our approach there are two main technologies:

Improved cookstoves (ICS)
Clean, fuel-efficient stoves have been developed, with promising results in terms of wood-fuel intake and smoke emission. We make these stoves available to those who need them, achieving health, financial, and social benefits. Families are healthier and wealthier, and local businesses are flourishing. By the end of 2015 we had helped install or distribute almost 300,000 stoves, improving the lives of 1.5 million people. Moreover, in 2014, together with 13 other Netherlands-based partners, we launched the Dutch Spark for Clean Cooking Solutions with the goal to provide clean cookstoves for 50 million+ people in developing countries.

Biogas plants ensure clean cooking, powering and/or basic lighting at household, business or community level. The residue of the process, bio-slurry, can be used as a potent organic fertiliser to enhance agricultural productivity. Our biogas programmes generate substantial income opportunities for biogas construction enterprises, masons and financial institutions, especially in rural areas. By the end of 2015 we had improved the lives of 3.5 million people by facilitating the installation of over 700,000 bio-digesters.

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