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Why Efficiency for Access?

Energy efficiency is a potent catalyst for scaling energy access globally

Theory of Change

Due in large part to the improved efficacy and cost of the super-efficient LED, the quickly emerging off-grid solar market has delivered energy access to tens of millions of off- and weak-grid households and businesses worldwide. With similar shifts in efficiency and cost, other appliances appropriate for off- and weak-grid settings can enable consumers to reach even higher levels of energy access faster.

Energy efficiency enables distributed off-grid and weak-grid renewable energy systems – from solar home systems to renewable micro-grids – to deliver energy services that would otherwise be economically or technically infeasible in resource-constrained settings. When super-efficient appliances are used, the total cost of solar home systems and their associated appliances can be reduced by as much as 50%.

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The Power of Appliances

Appliances deliver critical energy services such as refrigeration, cooling, and communications that improve the lives and incomes of under-served households and communities. The continued development of off-grid and weak-grid renewable energy markets – and continued progress in energy access – is tied to improved availability of well-designed, affordable, highly energy-efficient appliances.

Agsol Mill2

Agricultural Productivity

Improving farm productivity has a direct impact on poverty alleviation because 40% of the global population relies on agriculture as its main source of income. However, over 25% of food produced in the developing world is wasted. Improved access to cold chain technologies could help avoid nearly a quarter of that loss.

Solar water pumps are poised to make modern irrigation more accessible and cost-effective for the nearly 500 million small-scale farmers worldwide, most of whom live in off-grid communities.

Clasp Tv 2482

Women & Families

Research shows a clear link between introducing televisions into the home and positive changes in school enrollment, literacy, family planning, financial decisions, and health.

A range of appliances, from solar water pumps to sewing machines to agricultural processing equipment, unlock direct time and labor savings for women and children, and give women an opportunity for entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Wecare Clinic

Access to Health Services

Nearly a quarter of primary health centers in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and only a third of hospitals have reliable access. Distributed solar energy systems equipped with high-quality, super-efficient appliances and devices can provide reliable access to health services for primary health centers and other health service centers that currently lack it.

This approach will lower costs and improve service delivery at the same time. For example, a super-efficient solar-powered vaccine refrigerator uses only 10% of the solar panel and battery capacity compared to a conventional solar refrigerator.

Strengthening Off- & Weak-Grid Markets

Appliance markets represent a significant commercial opportunity. Cost and efficiency improvements for off-grid appropriate TVs, fans, and refrigerators could grow their combined global market potential from $524 million per year in 2015 to $4.7 billion per year in 2020.

To achieve this potential, Efficiency for Access and its partners are working to remove the barriers inhibiting market development.