Worldwide, 1.1 billion people live without electricity and 3 billion people use solid fuels for cooking.
Within this context, energy for essential human needs such as heating, cooking, lighting and powering often comes from burning wood, kerosene, charcoal or diesel, which can be expensive, inefficient and harmful to breathe.
Further, cleaner and more modern energy services are vital for economic activity, health, social services, safety and wellbeing.
In recognition of the essential role that energy access plays in development, the U.N. Secretary General has launched a “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative that targets universal access to energy services by 2030.
Mercy Corps' experience shows that access to reliable, affordable and safe forms of energy can be transformational by amplifying development objectives and putting the conditions in place to build more secure, productive and just communities.
To meet the goal of long-term and sustainable access to energy, Mercy Corps takes a dedicated market-based approach.
Our programs work with a wide range of local and global commercial actors to help test and demonstrate business models that have the potential to scale-up to meet the energy needs of off-grid communities.
Uganda: Paying for Darkness
This research considers Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar energy markets as a mechanism to improve energy access for refugees. PAYGo makes solar systems accessible to consumers who otherwise could not afford a large upfront payment, by distributing purchasing costs over time.
What We Know About Energy, Gender and GBV in Emergencies
What do 182 refugees, 48 humanitarian practitioners and 16 market actors have to say about our ability to meet the energy needs of women and girls in emergencies? Check out a new global report from Mercy Corps and the Women’s Refugee Commission to find out what we’re getting right, where we’re missing the mark, and how meeting energy needs can accelerate a wide range of humanitarian objectives.
Beyond Cash: Making Markets Work in Crisis
Outlining a better approach to crisis response
Afghanistan: Solar Powered Hospital and University Building in Helmand
Demonstration of a financing model for renewable energy deployment in a fragile context.
Nepal: Energy Access in Mercy Corps Nepal's Earthquake Response
In April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, the most powerful to occur in the region in 80 years. This article in HEDON boiling point magazine focuses on the impacts of access to improved ‘Tier 1’ energy products in Mercy Corps’ Nepal earthquake response efforts.
Kenya: Wajir d.light pilot evaluation
Exploring the potential of village-based solar lanterns micro-retailers in Wajir County.
Indonesia: SCOPE Learning Study
Reducing poverty and environmental impact in the Indonesian tofu and tempeh sector.
Uganda: Mercy Corps Market Analysis for Household Solar Products in the Acholi Sub-Region, Uganda
Energy poverty is a major driver of the overall poverty cycle in the developing world, contributing to poor health, environmental degredation and limited economic growth.
Global Energy Update FY 2014
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people lack access to reliable electricity and 2.7 billion people live without access to clean cooking facilities.
Timor-Leste: Illuminating market systems development in fragile environments
This learning study looks at the challenges and lessons learned by Mercy Corps' Energy For All (E4A) program in Timor-Leste, which facilitated existing actors to build a sustainable market for solar energy products and clean cookstoves.