An Indian girl in a headscarf stands facing the camera, holding a solar panel.
While India’s national solar plans gain steam, many communities take the lead by building village-scale projects. | Photo by International Rivers

Globally, the influx of solar and wind energy, combined with ever smarter grids and storage capacity is changing the landscape of our energy systems. And where many developing countries still suffer grinding energy poverty,  investment in renewable energy that is oriented to rural and remote community needs, is not only possible, it is cost effective and can be truly transformative. 

The sustainable development goals identify the importance of clean and affordable energy (Goal 7)  as a key requirement for achieving many of the other SDGs – to reduce poverty, support the human rights of people globally, and to ensure a healthy environment and sustainable world. 

There remains an urgent need for investment into renewables, as energy poverty is a contributor to hampering effective responses to disease and pandemics.

Our Work to Promote Renewable Energy

We know that to generate the lasting change we need to bring together the political interests in energy planning, along with community know-how, and private sector providers and innovators. Rapid deployment of off-grid technologies is one key pillar to effective response – especially for the remote peoples and the 789 million globally who are living without access to electricity. In South Asia we’ve been sharing experiences in renewable energy policy development between neighboring countries of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar to foster the expansion of community-level renewables – micro and pico-hydro, distributed solar and wind in particular.

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