– Fred Marree (

Innovation need(s)

The energy sector is transforming and there is growing consensus that sustainable energy is a catalyst for achieving most Sustainable Development Goals: it is crucial for better health, education, jobs, food production and conservation, as well as water use and quality. This transformation involves decentralized solutions that are changing how people interact with each other and their energy providers. It influences the role of citizens not only as consumers but also as “prosumers” or energy entrepreneurs. Traditionally, having access to energy often meant you had to live near a power grid or rely on diesel and kerosene or firewood. But the urgency of combating climate change, combined with technological advances and significant price reductions, has rapidly increased the availability and affordability of renewable energy. Additionally, the move from centralized power distribution to decentralized off-grid and micro/mini-grid systems powered by renewables is gaining strength. This would make much more energy available for disadvantaged communities and remote areas. Policies must become more supportive while energy finance needs to fundamentally change. Currently, the main problem is not a lack of finance, but how finance flows – mainly to higher income countries – while the greatest need is for off-grid in lower income areas.

Innovative solution(s) we are working on

Hivos builds resilience to climate change and create green economies by investing in the technical and business skills of early-stage energy entrepreneurs so they become “green entrepreneurs.” We also promote the use of inclusive finance streams and empower women and men by increasing their energy access options, thus boosting their income. Finally, with energy mainly being used for cooking in many parts of the world, while three billion people lack access to clean cooking methods, we promote clean energy solutions like biogas for clean cooking.

Hivos participates in multi-stakeholder initiatives that bring civil society organizations, governments, financial institutions and entrepreneurs (especially women) together to spur economic development and job creation with renewable energy services. At the same time, we engage with all these actors to improve policies and to come up with new forms of financing to scale up successful renewable energy solutions.

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