From 31 October - 2 November 2018, the fourth edition of the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC) took place in Singapore.
The conference, organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), is the global platform for sharing experience and best practices on off-grid energy systems and brings together experts from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other institutions.
Amongst the many presentations, I especially appreciated the event on “Inclusive financing frameworks for off-grid renewable energy solutions” organised by Hivos and IRENA, where the panellists from financing institutions, international NGOs and local SMEs discussed how different approaches can be complementary and channel financing to the level and format needed. Financing remains an impediment to the current effort but there are enormous socio-economic returns if energy access can be prioritised locally and considers gender barriers.
SNV took part in the “25 x 25 Collaborative: Market activation for energy access” event to showcase the comprehensive approach undertaken with the Green Microfinance Programme to kick-start the uptake of stand-alone solar home systems in Cambodia. SNV emphasized the importance of demand activation, quality supply of solar products, business development services for solar suppliers and putting financing mechanisms in place for customers and solar suppliers.
At the event, Practical Action, Hivos/ENERGIA, Power for All, and SNV presented their joint approach to accelerating electricity access through decentralized renewable energy markets, in 25 countries by 2025. The proposed interventions focus on building local capacities for improving policy and regulatory frameworks, increasing access to finance, developing supply performance, and creating demand. The 25x25 Collaborative works in a coordinated effort with government bodies, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society organizations, donors and customers, building on its existing local presence and unique expertise in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South & Southeast Asia.