Imagine trying to run an agricultural business without access to energy. Everything would depend on your body’s own power. All the tasks you’d need to do – such as milling and grinding – would have to be done by hand. You would be unable to refrigerate food products to stop them spoiling. Growing your business would be difficult or impossible.
The IKEA Foundation has joined the Efficiency for Access Coalition with a €5 million grant contribution. The three-year grant will promote renewable energy efficiency in communities that lack access to modern, reliable and affordable energy.
The grant will help 225,000 people improve the productivity of their small agricultural businesses through access to energy-efficient solar-powered equipment. It aims to help these families increase their household income by at least 15% and reduce their carbon emissions by 40%.
Globally, about 840 million people live without access to modern energy. Although emerging off-grid solar solutions are addressing this challenge by delivering basic energy services, more needs to be done to unlock renewable energy’s potential for development.
With the IKEA Foundation’s support, the Efficiency for Access Coalition will test, share knowledge and make it possible to scale up efficient appliances that easily run on solar energy, such as refrigerators and water pumps. The combination of efficiency and solar should, in the end, make work on the farm easier and help small businesses to grow in rural, impoverished areas.
Jeffrey Prins, Head of Portfolio (Renewable Energy) at IKEA Foundation, said: “We are excited to join forces with the Efficiency for Access Coalition. We believe it is an effective way for the IKEA Foundation to work together with other partners and investors to make renewable energy more accessible to many communities more quickly, reducing carbon emissions and improving livelihoods for people living in poverty.”