• Access to energy in poor countries





The UN calls on “energy plus”

source : The Guardian

While a Nepalese bank announced that it distributed 200 solar lanterns to poor families on the occasion of its 19th anniversary, the United Nations has just published a report entitled “Towards an ‘Energy Plus’ Approach for the Poor”. This 112-page study, based on a detailed analysis of 17 projects throughout the world, calls on “a set of ‘energy plus’ services that combines access to modern energy for heating, cooking and lighting, with measures that supplement incomes and improve health.”

The report, which highlights “minimalist” projects, defends an approach that focuses on women and the most disadvantaged groups, with the idea that the energy challenge is right at the centre of the fight against poverty. That being said, “Energy services per se do not reduce poverty,” warns the UN. That is the reason why the report considers that energy projects “should be developed in conjunction with other development initiatives such as savings and credit facilities, road infrastructure, telecommunications, schools and health facilities and agricultural extensions services.”

By modern energy, the UN means solar-powered energy combined with rechargeable batteries, biomass (excluding firewood), wind power and hydropower.

The report is available here