Key Takeaways from the Transforming Energy Access Forum 2024

Efficiency for Access shares three key takeaways and industry trends from the Transforming Energy Access Forum 2024.

In March, Efficiency for Access had the honor of participating in the Transforming Energy Access Forum 2024, hosted in Kigali, Rwanda. The one-day event was a dynamic gathering, providing a rich platform for dialogue, learning, and engagement with partners from the energy access ecosystem, as well as adjacent sectors including humanitarian aid, agriculture, and health. Efficiency for Access was proud to have hosted two sessions on the Technology Stage during the event. Read on for a reflection from our team, highlighting our key takeaways.

Key Learnings and Industry Trends

Three main learnings stood out from our engagement at the forum:

Leave no one behind and larger systems: Key discussions at the forum signalled a growing interest in scaling up technologies such as solar generators. This trend showcases the sector’s responsiveness to evolving market demands. However, the urgency to electrify marginalised communities remains, with 675 million people globally still unelectrified, and should remain a priority even as the sector evolves. Bridging the electricity gaps is a pivotal step toward a shared vision of ensuring energy access for everyone and ‘leaving no one behind’.

Challenges for local companies: Local enterprises, pivotal for inclusive growth, continue to encounter investment barriers. These businesses, aiming for steady, manageable growth that serves those with limited and variable incomes, often do not meet the aggressive expansion criteria sought by conventional investors.  Despite their impressive impact and satisfied customer base, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often perceived as high-risk ventures. A collaborative call to action was made for early-stage support providers and investors to more effectively align their support, ensuring a more holistic support network for such companies. By doing so, we can significantly improve the prospects for more SMEs to achieve commercial success.

In 2023, following similar feedback from the Efficiency for Access Donor and Investor groups, the Local Crowd Working Group was set up. This group aims to crowd-in support for smaller, locally-led companies. Efficiency for Access brings together grant and technical assistance providers to identify ways we can better communicate, coordinate and collaborate to ensure that these types of organisation are fully supported.

The power of cross-sectoral collaboration: The gathering of multi-sector stakeholders not only enriched the dialogue but also reinforced the essential benefits of such collaborative engagement. This underscored the integral relationship between energy access and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), framing cross-sector synergy as a critical path to our shared sustainable future.

Efficiency for Access is committed to a comprehensive and impactful approach, striving to create a synchronized effort across the energy sector to attain SDG 7. Coalition members are engaged in a variety of interventions, spanning key technologies and markets with high potential for impact.

Announcements from the Forum

  • Access to Energy Institute (A2EI) launched the Green Gensets Facility aimed at accelerating a move from fossil-fuel generators to renewable-energy-based alternatives. Read the press release for more details.
  • Two innovative projects were announced as the winners of the ZE-Gen Demonstrator — a £2 million funding competition by Carbon Trust and Innovate UK to evidence the capability, applicability, and scalability of integrated renewable alternatives to fossil-fuelled generators.
  • CLASP was announced as the new host and manager of the Energy Access Institutions Facility, an initiative seeking to provide core funding and technical assistance to organizations that accelerate access to life-changing, off-grid energy to millions globally.
  • 60 Decibels launched the ‘Why Off-Grid Energy Matters 2024‘ report, a comprehensive social impact assessment of off-grid energy to date, featuring insights from 79,000 energy customers in over 30 different countries.


The forum was an enlightening platform where thought leaders and sustainable energy innovators shared their visions and initiatives aimed at expanding clean energy access, transforming lives and fostering economic development. It was insightful to hear thought leaders and innovators share their knowledge and updates on projects that are pushing solutions to bring clean energy access to off-grid communities. Efficiency for Access looks forward to contributing to and witnessing the ongoing efforts to provide sustainable energy for all.

We are grateful to the event organisers – the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Carbon Trust and the Transforming Energy Access platform- for curating such a memorable and significant event.


Find out more about

The Low Energy Inclusive Appliances programme, a flagship initiative of the Efficiency for Access Coalition funded by UK Aid via the Transforming Energy Access platform and the IKEA Foundation.

Transforming Energy Access, a research and innovation platform supporting the technologies, business models and skills needed to enable an inclusive clean energy transition.





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