Accelerating energy access through the productive use of energy

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Analysis conducted by SNV as part of EnDev's Learning and Innovation Agenda has shown that scaling of Productive Use of Energy requires a wider eco-system approach, i.e. a coordinated effort involving a wide variety of cross-sector stakeholders.

For this study, SNV analysed a range of projects that promote the Productive Use of Energy (PUE) contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 7 (universal access to sustainable energy).

Productive Use of Energy

Productive Use of Energy generally refers to the use of energy for income-generating activities. Projects that are aimed at promoting PUE can facilitate and/or increase income generation and contribute to more sustainable and efficient energy use in value chains. Factors stimulating productive use of energy are increased energy access, payment models like Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), technological innovation and decreased costs for solar technologies and appliances. While there are promising market opportunities involving PUE applications for farmers and other micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs), key barriers such as the limited supply of appropriate products, limited development of viable business cases and a lack of cross-disciplinary expertise and coordination, have prevented PUE from reaching scale.

Based on this analysis, it is becoming clear that the scaling of productive use of energy requires a wider eco-system approach, i.e. a coordinated effort involving a wide variety of cross-sector stakeholders. The PUE eco-system approach provides a basis for more replicable models and scalable business cases, through more coordination, collaboration and learning among actors. Already during the design of PUE projects, stakeholders should be aware of the PUE eco-system and link up with other stakeholders active in the field, such as researchers, financial institutions, sector organisations and NGOs. Increased collaboration between stakeholders will serve to increase effectiveness and efficiency in PUE promotion, and specific support measures should aim to enable market growth, stimulate demand and increase supply.

Recommendations for future projects include

  • Sensitisation of funders, governments and development organisations on the specifics of PUE interventions to provoke an integrated, flexible approach and to ensure inclusion of PUE in project designs for energy access programmes from the start.

  • Adoption of multi-disciplinary project teams with experts from various backgrounds to enhance understanding of the needs of the specific sectors and users, and better tailor targeted support to MSMEs.

  • Ensuring projects designs use replicable and scalable approaches and business cases.

Ecosystem approach to promote PUE

Figure 1: Sanitation coverage in Chum Kiri from 2015 to 2019

To learn more

The publication focuses on lessons learned from the EnDev programme managed by GIZ and RVO, and analyses experiences from EnDev implementers such as SNV, GIZ, HIVOS, Practical Action, AVSI and CLASP. To learn more about this project, please visit our EnDev project page.

Insights focussed on agricultural value chains will be presented at the Vienna Energy Forum Virtual series on 2 December 2020. A publication with the outcomes of the analysis will be available early 2021.