Matt Jordan

The Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-Grid Appliances 2014 Buyer’s Guide

Millions of small-scale direct current (DC) renewable energy systems have been sold in un- and under-electrified (“off-grid”) parts of the developing world, in countries like Bangladesh, Kenya, India and Haiti. Commercial markets for clean off-grid energy systems like solar home systems (SHSs) and renewable mini-grids will continue to grow in coming years, providing access to clean, reliable modern energy services to populations in desperate need of them. The Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) contributes to global clean energy access efforts by supporting the development of these markets. 

The Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards (Global LEAP Awards) competition is a CEM initiative to identify and promote high-quality, energy-efficient low-voltage appliances. The Global LEAP Awards’ inaugural competition featured two off-grid appliance categories: low-voltage (e.g. 12V) DC LED room lighting appliances, and flat panel color televisions. Awards finalists were announced in April, and winners were named at the 5th Clean Energy Ministerial on 12 May 2014. All winners and finalists were tested for their quality and energy performance according to internationally-accepted laboratory test methodologies, and were evaluated and judged by a team of off-grid product market experts.

The Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-Grid Appliances 2014 Buyer’s Guide provides high-level information about Awards winners and finalists, as well as sales contact information. Its purpose is to help clean energy access make smarter, faster off-grid appliance procurement decisions.

 

The Importance of Off-Grid Appliance Quality

Product quality is essential to the development of the off-grid market. Experiences with inferior products are quickly spread by word of mouth in villages and peri-urban areas, leading off-grid consumers to distrust the products. This decreased consumer confidence undermines efforts to build self-sustaining, robust commercial markets. 

More importantly, off-grid populations are typically among the world’s poorest people. A small off-grid energy system and the appliances that come with it represents a big improvement in an off-grid household’s quality of life, but it requires a large investment of very limited income. It’s important that the products work as promised.

 

The Importance of Off-Grid Appliance Super-Efficiency

By enhancing and enabling off-grid consumer demand for energy services, off-grid appliance super-efficiency is also an essential driver of growth in clean energy access markets. 

Super-efficient off-grid appliances offer significantly greater service per unit of energy. For example, a recent analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories estimates that a 40Wp solar module and a 70Ah battery can power a 25W incandescent bulb for 5 hours each day, but the same system can power a super-efficient 21” flat panel TV, two high-quality LED lights, and a super-efficient fan, mobile charger, and radio. This enhanced service greatly enhances consumer demand and quality of life.

Moreover, super-efficiency can enable sales by reducing system cost. Super-efficient appliances allow the same level of service – and even increased levels of service – to be provided by much smaller, and much less expensive, solar PV and battery arrays. This reduction in price expands the market of off-grid consumers that can afford the systems.  

By providing greater service and greater cost-effectiveness, super-efficient appliances help off-grid clean energy companies reach more customers. 

I’m pleased to share The Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-Grid Appliances 2014 Buyer’s Guide, featuring the winners and finalists of the inaugural Global LEAP Awards competition. Because they’re high-quality and energy-efficient, each product featured in the Guide offers tremendous value to off-grid clean energy companies and their customers. 

 

About the Global LEAP Awards

The Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) supports global clean energy access efforts through the development of commercial markets for clean energy access products and services. Robust, self-sustaining commercial markets for clean off-grid energy access technologies are needed to meet the scale of the energy access challenge and provide clean, reliable modern energy services to the off-grid populations in desperate need of them.

The Global LEAP Awards is a CEM initiative to support the global clean energy access marketplace by identifying and promoting high-quality, energy-efficient low-voltage appliances. The Awards first round was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the ClimateWorks Foundation.

 

Matt Jordan is a Senior Manager at CLASP, and is responsible for CLASP's clean energy access and off-grid market transformation initiatives.


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