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.

Energy storage represents a key element to ensure the proper functioning of any system and will contribute to the positive development of the entire industry. The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) has launched the “Energy Storage Campaign.

The World Bank urgently needs to find a way to finance small social enterprises working on energy poverty. But the bank continues to fund dirty projects and it’s very challenging for smaller enterprises to access funding that could really have a lot of impact in directly addressing the topic of energy access and energy poverty.

In just 30 years, the microfinance movement has reached 200 million people who had been deemed "unbankable." That's a stunning success. But the narrative that drove this success has implicitly shut the vast majority of the unbanked out of the system. That's why it's time to change the story, and our minds, on how microfinance works.

Training in Salomon Islands showed how important knowledge about enduser training is. Solar technicians need more than just technical training.

Solar was once the wild west of alternative energy. Today, microfinance banks see it as a solid investment, even for poor clients, and bio-gas may follow its footsteps.

Despite the solid arguments to support off-grid renewables as the best solution for remote areas, there is still one open question: What happens with the electricity service when the sun stops shining or the wind does not blow anymore? Fortunately, present markets offer technologies that enable storing energy derived from a primary source for its use at a later time.

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