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
In March 2013, MEI in partnership with the GIZ conducted a market study on the subject of housing insulation measures in two regions of Kyrgyzstan: Naryn and Issyk-Kul.
The Energy Inclusion Initiative (EII) focuses on the potential of microfinance mechanisms to provide cleaner energy solutions in regions with poor infrastructure.
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.
In partnership with the KfW Entwicklungsbank and IDCOL, MEI worked on a project to design a program concept for power supply from renewable energy sources for productive use in rural areas in Bangladesh
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.