A new report from Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) calls for an integrated approach to electrification to support faster, more targeted progress in closing access gaps in key countries.
In the report, Integrated Electrification Pathways for Universal Access to Electrification: A Primer, SEforALL defines integrated electrification pathways as a set of inclusive planning approaches and policy measures that support using grid, mini-grid and off-grid technologies to provide electricity and the associated energy services necessary to meet human needs and contribute to sustainable development.
“A lack of clear electrification plans from governments has resulted in fragmented solutions and - in many cases - stagnated progress in addressing electricity access gaps at scale,” said Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.
“Piecemeal approaches to electrification are proving too slow and risk leaving vulnerable populations behind. National-led integrated electrification plans can offer the structure needed to crowd in financing and partnerships for rolling out a full spectrum of electricity solutions that provide universal access," Kyte added.
While some countries are already pioneering an integrated approach, there is a common lack of clarity among many as to exactly what it means to develop an integrated pathway to universal electrification.
The report will empower governments with a set of guidelines that will support their electrification planning. It emphasizes the need for four key principles:
- Placing access to electricity in the context of sustainable development and human needs.
- Considering all technological approaches and delivery models.
- Relying on high-level commitment and support for an inclusive, coordinated planning process.
- Including supportive policy measures that facilitate investment and are market enabling (not market inhibiting).
The report also proposes concrete steps that governments can take in pursuit of the above principles. For example, they can establish a coordinating body empowered with high-level political buy-in and adequate long-term resources for implementation.
Working with experts and stakeholders to obtain relevant data for use in integrated modeling and other planning tools is also a key component.
Both these measures have been observed in Togo, which was one of three countries examined as part of a series of videos produced by SEforALL on integrated electrification.
The Togo video showcases how support from the highest level of government translated to a new initiative to speed up the country’s electrification rates to bring universal access by 2030 using a complementary mix of national grid, off-grid and mini-grid solutions. This included the appointment of a special advisor to Togo’s president, responsible for coordinating government efforts and a rural electrification project.
The reportand videos were launched at the Sustainable Energy for All Charrettes in Amsterdam, where SEforALL is hosting a series of intensive, interactive sessions intended to generate defined pathways and actions to achieve greater speed and scale towards SDG7.
Watch the three case-study videos from Nepal, Ethiopia and Togo on the SEforALL website here.
Read the report, Integrated Electrification Pathways for Universal Access to Electrification: A Primer in full here.