Many "base of the pyramid" approaches take one product targeted at the poor and scale it up for a mass market without considering the diverse needs of poor people living in different contexts.

Off-grid communication has brought change to rural areas. Even more will come from off-grid power — wind, small hydro, biomass, but mostly solar. Power drives almost everything else — cooking without gathering wood and inhaling smoke, clean water, radios, fans, eventually TVs. The problem is how to attract investment to the sector.

UN Foundation has updated the "Import Tariff and Barriers to Entry Database". The database is now searchable by renewable energy product as well as by country, and we have added a graph functionality so that tariffs in different countries around a given product can be compared more easily via these summary statistics.

The World Coal Association (WCA) has called for greater action to support developing countries in their fight against energy poverty. WCA Chief Executive highlighted also the vital role coal plays as an affordable, reliable, abundant source of energy for developing countries.

The paper introduces the results of a spatial-economic analysis that identifies the least cost rural electrification options that can bring the persistent energy poverty to an end in Sub Saharan Africa. The least cost are calculated for each geographical location for mini hydro, off grid PV and diesel generators options and it is compared to the electricity grid extension.

The real solar story is not quite about the big megawatts of capacity added to the grid, which can at best be only marginal. The real story is the use of solar for providing basic energy needs in villages, where its transformative role is immense.

Bengal, a pioneer in developing grid-connected and off-grid solar power, has started losing its prime position. Under the remote village electrification programme of the ministry of new and renewable energy, only 6 villages have been electrified in Bengal in last 3 years.

Africa can use solar power to fuel its future growth. Lack of awareness and financing are still major challenges. Industry insiders also call for new policies to help the sector to take off.

Carrying goods ranging from detergent to solar lamps, the "Avon ladies" of Africa could help connect the most remote towns and villages.

Current discussion about energy poverts still is focussed mainly on “one light” solutions. This leads to projections of future energy consumption that are not only potentially far too low, but therefore imply that those billions unserviced people will remain deeply impoverished. Such limited ambition risks becoming self-fulfilling, because the way we view the scale of the challenge will strongly influence the types of policies, technologies, levels of investment and investment vehicles that analysts and policy makers consider to be appropriate.

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