Environmental Research Digest – January 2012
The document highlights the critical role that business plays in enhancing access to energy and, more broadly, in the expansion and transformation of national energy systems to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy for all. It was released to coincide with the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the United Nations’ Secretary-General, HE Ban Ki-moon in January 2012.
- Business solutions to enable energy access for all demonstrates clearly how business is already expanding access to clean, reliable and affordable energy services for poor customers, featuring 19 member company case studies.
- These cases highlight concrete examples of how business model innovation helps provide more affordable and reliable products and services, overcomes market barriers or failures, and increases the profitability and scalability of sustainable engagement in low-income energy markets.
- However, mobilizing the required scale of investment requires political will and well-designed and stable policies to overcome many of the barriers facing business action.
- The publication recommends that policy-makers need to focus on prioritizing energy access in national development planning, improving the investment climate and implementing enabling measures to promote the primary energy access solutions.
- Meeting universal energy access targets will also require mobilization of significant additional financial resources.
- Public and development finance mechanisms should be specifically designed to leverage additional private investment.
- The broader financing architecture must give appropriate consideration to the quality of the regulatory and investment climate, which impact risks and returns associated with private investment.
- Finally the publication highlights that partnerships and cross-sector approaches are essential to make these opportunity areas successful and all the WBCSD member company case studies featured in the document involve partnerships of some form.
- Effective public-private partnerships will be particularly important drivers of progress toward universal access to energy.