When the UN announced its target ‘Energy for All by 2030′, I thought the opportunity for billions of rural in isolated areas has arrived. I also though small scale energy options, small standalone schemes, micro and mini grids, efficient and cleaner cooking technologies will be high priorities in the years and decades to come.
It is early to predict failure of success on meeting such an ambitious but much needed target. However, concerns start arising when I see that small scale technologies and decentralised energy schemes are not yet the focus of discussions. For example, during the First Africa-EU Energy Partnership Stakeholders Forum held recently in Cape Town, the focus of the discussions was on large renewable energy schemes, interconnections, power pool regulations, private sector investment and other issues mainly related to energy security, rather than energy for isolated rural populations. This is despite that the majority of participants where African Stakeholders and despite the fact that one of the targets of the AEEP is to provide Energy Access to 100 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.
As an energy access advocate and long term practitioner I only hope that ‘Energy for All’ is not a new rhetoric for an old challenge, but in coming future, small scale technologies, micro grid, small standalone energy schemes, forest management, efficient cooking technologies come to the forefront of the discussions in all energy policy and strategy discussions.
With that mind, as long term energy access for the poor practitioner and advocate, I have decided to blog more frequently, and exchange ideas with the large community of energy access for the poor advocates.