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PAST EVENT | From Ideas to Action: Using End-User Subsidies to Achieve Universal Energy Access

Solar home systems, productive use equipment, mini grids, and other decentralized renewable technologies transform the lives and livelihoods of those living in energy poverty, and have provided first time access to millions of low income and rural households. Yet even before the COVID-19 pandemic, estimates projected that hundreds of millions of people would still be unable to afford off-grid solar solutions by 2030. The impact of COVID-19 has pushed a further 70 million people into extreme poverty, intensifying this “affordability gap”. 

End-user subsidies, which directly reduce costs for consumers, have the potential to address the affordability challenge and enable energy access for the most vulnerable communities. However, for them to be as effective as possible, they must be considered alongside other enablers, such as supportive fiscal policy and supply side subsidies. In addition, as end-user subsidies are complex and create the risk of market distortion - which can hamper other energy access efforts - they need to be designed very carefully.

This event explored the ‘smart’ design of end-user subsidies to address this complexity and uncover solutions. With a particular focus on stand alone solar technologies. 

At the event, participants: 

  • Joined energy access experts as they explore how end-user subsidies can fit within the "tool-kit" of public financing solutions to achieve universal energy access
  • Shared their own experience and insights around end-user subsidy design challenges in the off-grid solar standalone space and ‘smart’ solutions 
  • Learned from, and participated in the design of, four pilot standalone solar end-user subsidy country programs
  • Identified clear next steps to advance clean energy access for hundreds of millions of people living in energy poverty 

GOGLA, supported by GET.invest has just launched their latest discussion paper "Using End-User Subsidies for Off-Grid Solar to Achieve Universal Energy Access' today. This paper aims to bring the private sectors perspective to inform the discussion on how end-user subsidies for off-grid solar solutions fit within the ‘toolkit’ of public financing solutions to accelerate energy access. Please check our resources tab in preparation for the event."

For further background on end-user subsides, supply side subsidies and smart subsidy design, please click HERE.