The new online platform provides practical information and enables networking for innovators developing technologies and business models to end energy poverty.
The new Energy Catalyst community is the latest addition to the Energy Catalyst, a UK government-funded programme.
It is designed to accelerate access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. The programme achieves this through:
- grant funding
- business acceleration support
- brokerage activity.
Despite progress in recent years, the global community is significantly behind in meeting the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) of ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
For example, four billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy.
A need for international collaboration
Without sustained efforts, 620 million people will be left without access to electricity in 2030 and 85% of them will be in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cooperation is central to an expedited solution. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), international collaboration can increase effectiveness and maximise the impact of energy technology innovation.
To address this need, the Energy Catalyst is designed to benefit the wider energy access ecosystem by creating partnerships.
It promotes learning and funds the testing and demonstration of innovations that can accelerate energy access sector progress.
Through the new Energy Catalyst community, a range of open-access reports, tools and guides are now available to help innovators solve challenges faster and deliver impact.
In addition, companies who have received grant support through the Energy Catalyst will be able to access a member-only area that will be launched in early 2021.
Here, they can facilitate collaboration with other grantees and encourage knowledge exchange to develop and commercialise solutions.
Closing the energy access gap
Dr Nicola Lazenby, Innovation Lead, Energy Catalyst, at Innovate UK said:
Through Energy Catalyst, Innovate UK provides funding to pioneers who are developing solutions that will help to close the energy access gap for millions of people.
We have supported over 150 projects across nearly 30 countries based on a wide range of technologies including clean cooking stoves, energy storage, distributed solar, biomass and mini-grids.
With the launch of the new Energy Catalyst Community platform, we want to harness the full benefit of the knowledge gathered over the past five years and make this and ongoing lessons learnt accessible to help educate, inform and build capacity in the wider market.