Uganda Masaka district street with pylons

Transforming Energy Access: Innovations towards SDG 7

On the 7th March EEG took part in a one-day event, convened on behalf of the UK Department for International Development in central London. Transforming Energy Access: Innovations towards SDG 7 was dedicated to accelerating the transition between clean energy innovations and impact at scale, especially in Africa, through improved alignment of supportive policy and investment.

The event brought together a range of policymakers, investors, programme managers, energy innovators and entrepreneurs, and wider stakeholders who share a strategic interest in innovations which can accelerate the achievement of SDG 7.

EEG Energy Lead, Ryan Hogarth, joined a panel on energy policy innovations to share EEG’s research into productive uses of electricity. In his contribution, he emphasised how: “EEG is funding applied research into productive uses of electricity because electricity access alone is not enough to achieve economic development – and once there is already economic growth in place, productive uses of energy are the ones that can sustain it.”

EEG is currently funding research on the impact of electrification for rural firms and entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone as well as on testing the effectiveness of micro-finance on electricity connections rates and consumption levels in Rwanda.

Ryan continued: “We need to be better at identifying supressed demand for productive uses. To address this challenge, EEG is funding mapping of demand forecasting in Ethiopia.”

EEG Consultant, Luca Petrarulo, who also attended the event, said that: “We need to be better at defining what transformative energy access means: a small solar home system for a light bulb and a phone cannot be the standard for success. That’s why researching demand for productive uses is crucial."

Mark Howells of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, spoke about the EEG-coordinated Roundtable Initiative on Strategic Energy Planning and praised its support of developing long-term capacity of energy planning research hubs in African universities as: "Essential for improving the sustainability of energy planning."

The Carbon Trust, CLASP and the Energy Saving Trust supported the delivery of the event as part of their work under the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) and Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programmes.