Each year, the poor spend $37 billion on poor-quality energy solutions to meet their lighting and cooking needs. In both urban and rural areas, the upfront costs of purchasing or using cleaner energy are high for the poor, leading to underdeveloped markets and weak supply chains.
In countries with growing market for clean energy solutions, efforts to expand the provision of clean energy to low-income consumer segments now depends less on the technology and more on improved financing and distribution models to make energy accessible and affordable to low-income consumers. This has to be backed by a policy environment and energy value chain that is focused on reaching the poor.
The CleanStart programme’s vision is to dramatically expand consumer financing for low-income consumers who want to transition to cleaner and more efficient energy.
As a result of having access to modern energy, such as efficient cook stoves and solar powered lights, women and girls are freed from menial labour and children can study longer under brighter lights. Health improves with less smoke in the kitchen, as does the ecology in which communities live by reusing human and agricultural waste as fuel source and saving trees with alternative fuels. Shops can open for longer hours and power appliances which diversifies incomes of small entrepreneurs.
- June 2016