Asia has the highest proportion of population living off-grid in the world, having no or insufficient access to electricity. About 800 million people in Asia live without access to reliable and affordable energy and reside in off-grid areas (IEA, 2009).
The constantly growing energy demand and the challenges associated with it are manifold. The lack of efficient and affordable energy solutions affects the people at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) in particular. They face greater risks due to augmented use of traditional energy sources, such as kerosene, and face greater challenges with regards to income-generating opportunities without clean, sustainable and affordable energy solutions. Moreover, the degradation of the ecosystem due to the high demand of fossil fuels for heating and cooking purposes is vast.
Energy-related issues are hindering the sustainable development of the region. At the same time, this region offers huge potential being the cradle of microenergy lending, as first implemented in Bangladesh and has a strong presence of microfinance institutions.
MicroEnergy International has initiated and actively collaborated to support projects advocating the need for a sustainable market-based approach involving key local stakeholders. Currently, MEI has three teams involved in the South East Asian, the South Asian as well as the Central Asian regions.
Activities in Asia:
- ME Cambodia: Introduction and Enhacement of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Lending
MEI has been commissioned to assist the Microfinance Institution PRASAC Microfinance, on behalf of its funder GCPF, in enhancing existing and improving its offers in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector.
- ME Central Asia: MikroKlima
MEI was commissioned by the BMBF to conduct a research project for the potential of micro financed renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for mitigation and adaptation of climate change in Central Asia.
- ME Philippines: Energy Inclusion Initiative
The Energy Inclusion Initiative (EII) focuses on the potential of microfinance mechanisms to provide cleaner energy solutions in regions with poor infrastructure.
- ME Pakistan
In order to address the issue of energy poverty in Pakistan, MEI in collaboration with the GIZ and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), is currently engaged in a project with the objective to scale-up off-grid decentralized solar electrification in Pakistan.
Microenergy International is always actively seeking new opportunities for projects and collaborations in Asia. In a region with such diverse geographies, renewable energy resources, income characteristics, access to finance and energy poverty, MEI is evolving every day to respond to the energy needs across Asia.