Three years of complementary funding from the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) has just been confirmed by Smart Villages. The funding will help Smart Villages continue to explore technical, entrepreneurial and policy solutions for providing sustainable energy for development in off-grid rural communities. The project will now travel to Africa, Asia and Latin America to talk to some of the one billion plus people who live without power globally.
Poor access to power in small rural communities in the developing world, leads to dire consequences for health, education, wealth and ability to engage in wider society. The availability of new technologies together with innovative business models has already enabled some successful projects to alleviate energy poverty. However, as yet there is no agreement on best practice for policy makers and financiers to support such enterprises, and progress is too slow to meet the UN’s commitment of energy access for all by 2030.
Over the next three years the the team will work with key stakeholders in developing countries to ensure that the initiative is firmly rooted in addressing real-world issues, and achieves effective uptake and impact. International experts in natural and social science, engineering, and the humanities will be brought together with local and regional stakeholders (entrepreneurs, villagers, NGO’s, financiers and policy makers) to develop insightful, bottom-up views of the challenges of village energy provision for development, and how they can be overcome.