Smart Power for Rural Development
Accelerating energy access to economically empower and transform lives
More than one billion people across the globe are locked out of the modern economy because they lack sufficient access to electricity to power their communities, businesses, and daily lives. If we provide reliable and sufficient electricity, we can power social and economic development and transform lives.
Electricity creates opportunities people to lift themselves out of poverty. Real global development cannot happen without energy, including in rural areas, where more than 80% of the world’s energy poor reside.
Smart Power For Rural Development is a $75 million initiative launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015 to address the “last-mile” energy gap by bringing together energy service companies (ESCOs), technology experts, local businesses, national and local governments, as well as the private sector to build viable partnerships around decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions.
DRE solutions, such as mini-grids, are fast to build and produce sufficient capacity to power entire villages, including enterprises. They are also based on solar power or biomass, providing clean energy.
Smart Power goes beyond electricity for households. Our focus is to ensure the provision of high quality, reliable energy that drives economic opportunity for villagers, communities and businesses. We do this by 1) creating the right incentives for energy providers to enter and succeed in rural markets, 2) stimulating local economies through energy-enabled micro-enterprise development, 3) encouraging technology innovations that leapfrog the growth of DRE, and 4) coordinating with national and local governments to facilitate more open policy environments for DRE to scale up and touch the lives of millions more as we work toward the achievement of SDG 7: affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Power In Hand: Smart Power Virtual Reality Film
See firsthand the transformative power of energy access on people’s lives by viewing “Power in Hand”: a virtual reality experience. Mobile users, click here to view the virtual reality film on YouTube.
How can we bring clean electricity to the 1.3 billion people without it?
Just as agricultural productivity held the key to progress in the 20th century, we know that in the 21st…, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, 2005 – 2017 President Emerita, University of Pennsylvania
The issue of electricity access is not unknown to national governments and there are many programs in place…, Associate Director, The Rockefeller Foundation