Energy access for poor rural communities is dependent on three core pillars: appropriate renewable energy technologies, effective distribution channels, and affordable financing. Microfinance institutions (MFIs), in partnership with pro-poor energy product suppliers, can offer financing and built-in distribution channels to their existing clients, most of whom are women.
Rural poverty is almost synonymous with energy poverty—without access to modern energy services, there is little opportunity for economic advancement. Access to modern clean energy allows for more productive end uses, job creation, longer productive hours, and cleaner water and sanitation, among other benefits.
Asia’s rural populations—from remote mountainous regions to low-lying coastal communities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) countries and Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations (FCAS)*—are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: extreme weather events, drought, increased precipitation, rising sea levels, storm surges, and coastal flooding.
Solar rooftop PV, particularly solar home systems, are well established globally, including across rural communities in Asia. Some efforts to promote solar rooftop have been successful; however, others, especially in remote and island communities, face multiple technical problems, including lack of proper maintenance or equipment replacement.