28 June 2018
Introduction from Jordan Broadbent, Business Manager, Shell Foundation and member of the Efficiency for Access Coalition donor roundtable
Highly energy-efficient, affordable, and appropriately designed refrigeration solutions offer significant potential to improve livelihoods and achieve broader development impact in off- and weak-grid communities.
Having attended the Efficiency for Access Coalition’s Global Market Development Roundtable for Off- and Weak-Grid Refrigerators in Amsterdam earlier this month, the importance of this particular appliance remains top of mind.
The roundtable, summarised in this newsletter below, not only reinforced the latent consumer demand, but also the growing industry appetite for enabling more and greater modern energy services – including the need to help remove some of the specific barriers currently associated with new super-efficient off-grid appliances, including refrigerators.
Whilst access to refrigeration in off- and weak-grid communities can significantly reduce the domestic burden on women and children (who are often responsible for food gathering and preparation), it is also indispensable in hospitals and clinics and unlocks productive potential in agriculture, small business, and more.
Shell Foundation’s approach to supporting off-grid refrigeration aligns with our thematic focus areas of household energy, energy for business and off-grid utilities.
In partnership with The Department for International Development, we are currently supporting several enterprises innovating in off- and weak-grid refrigeration, including:
- M-KOPA Labs: Following a series of successful field trials and with a sales pilot currently underway in Kenya, M-KOPA is progressing towards a market launch of their off-grid refrigerators planned for later this year. These refrigerators, incorporating Embraco manufactured energy efficient compressors (a great sector signal showcasing interest from a large refrigerator company) will offer customers increasing access to clean, affordable energy services – alongside M-KOPA’s existing lighting, radio and TV products. The MKOPA fridge was unveiled in a DfID ministerial event earlier this month and has already been attracting some welcomed attention!
- Sure Chill: Leveraging their innovative approach to vaccine refrigeration (currently used in over 45 countries worldwide), Sure Chill are now prototyping several refrigerators designed specifically for households and micro businesses in off- and weak-grid communities. By utilising thermal energy storage as opposed to a battery, Sure Chill is able to further reduce costs, whilst at the same time achieve long holdover periods.
Shell Foundation sees great potential in the ongoing support of technology innovation and improving sector coordination to sustainably respond to the growing demand for larger-scale off-grid appliances such as refrigerators. We look forward to continuing our work through the Efficiency for Access Coalition.