UN Foundation Announces Billion-Dollar Investment Opportunity for Energy Access

Paris, France

December 8, 2015


Megan Rabbitt

During the Earth To Paris event on December 8 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director for Energy Access for the United Nations Foundation, announced the launch of a new “billion dollar clean energy access investment opportunity” with the release of the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network’s 2015 Energy Access Investment Directory and investment portal. This investment opportunity showcases the best in the off-grid clean energy sector globally, from successful start-ups to prominent renewable energy pioneers.

“I’d like to use this opportunity to highlight that targeted deployment of sustainable energy solutions can help build resilience across communities, strengthen our health systems, and support a solid future for all the world’s children,” Van Leeuwen stated during her panel, Energy Access: A Billion Dollar Opportunity, at the second day of the Earth To Paris event. “We have a billion-dollar opportunity here to simultaneously grow the market economy and take strides toward reaching multiple sustainable development goals.”

The 2015 investment directory showcases more than a billion dollars of investment and financing opportunities presented by more than 200 leading companies and organizations in the sector. Both the directory itself and its corresponding interactive online database portal, available online mid-December, are valuable tools for investors, donors, entrepreneurs, and market analysts.

On her panel with energy access practitioners from around the world, Van Leeuwen reiterated the importance of energy access in the broader context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing that, “Access to clean and affordable modern energy revolutionizes lives — improving health, saving time and enhancing income generation opportunities, enabling education and entrepreneurship, decreasing vulnerability to violence, and empowering women.” By investing in innovative clean energy technologies and adopting successful models for rural electrification, she said, “we can reduce climate vulnerability and end energy poverty by 2030.”


United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals.

About Energy Access Practitioner Network
As a part of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the UN Foundation-led Energy Access Practitioner Network promotes universal access to modern energy services. With more than 2,000 members, the Network focuses on decentralized low-carbon household and community-level electrification. It supports innovative financial and business models in predominantly market-based applications that also help address development issues related to income generation, health, agriculture, education, small business, and telecommunications.

For more information, visit www.energyaccess.org.