HomeRegional NewsAfricaFree tools on offer from community hub to accelerate innovation

Free tools on offer from community hub to accelerate innovation

A new online platform has launched to provide practical information and enable peer-to-peer networking for innovators developing technologies and business models to help end energy poverty.

The new Energy Catalyst Community is the latest addition to the UK government-funded programme, Energy Catalyst, designed to accelerate access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, and South and South-East Asia through grant funding, business acceleration support and brokerage activity.

Through the new Energy Catalyst Community, a range of open-access reports, free tools and guides are now available to help innovators solve challenges faster and deliver impact.

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In addition, companies who have received grant support through the Energy Catalyst will be able to access a member-only area that will be launched in early 2021. The member-only free tools will facilitate collaboration with other grantees and encourage knowledge exchange to develop and commercialise solutions.

Free tools available to harness knowledge

Dr Nicola Lazenby, Innovation Lead, Energy Catalyst, at Innovate UK said: “We have supported over 150 projects across nearly 30 countries based on a wide range of technologies including clean cooking stoves, energy storage, distributed solar, biomass and mini-grids.”

Lazenby added: “With the launch of the new Energy Catalyst Community platform, we want to harness the full benefit of the knowledge gathered over the past five years, and make this and ongoing lessons learnt accessible to help educate, inform and build capacity in the wider market.”

Despite progress in recent years, the global community is significantly behind in meeting the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) of ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. For example, four billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy.

Without sustained efforts, 620 million people will be left without access to electricity in 2030 and 85% of them will be in sub-Saharan Africa. Cooperation is central to an expedited solution. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), international collaboration can increase effectiveness and maximise the impact of energy technology innovation.

To address this need, Energy Catalyst is designed to benefit the wider energy access ecosystem by creating partnerships, promoting learning, and funding the testing and demonstration of innovations that can accelerate energy access sector progress.

The free tools made available through the Energy Catalyst Community platform has been developed as part of the Energy Catalyst Accelerator, which provides commercialisation support to Energy Catalyst grantees and a range of learning exchange and educational activities for wider energy access stakeholders.

It is funded by Innovate UK and delivered in cooperation with partners including the Carbon Trust, Energy 4 Impact, Power for All, Intellecap and Open Capital Advisors.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
Nicolette is the Editor of ESI Africa print journal, ESI-Africa.com and the annual African Power & Energy Elites. She is passionate about placing African countries on the international stage and is driven by the motto "The only way to predict the future is to create it". Join her in creating a sustainable future through articles and multimedia content.