5 responses to “Energy for all”

  1. carthur

    See Duncan Green of Oxfam writing about energy poverty in India at:

  2. Doreen Namyalo Kyazze

    This is really informative. The Indian modal of promoting access to energy for the poor through combined effort of all stakeholders is a lesson for many African countries particularly Uganda which is good at developing policies but still fails at implementation of programmes.

  3. Isabel Freyer

    The articles “Renewable energy options” and “Energy for all” (Making It, issue 2) are inspirational and thought-provoking for everyone. As I dealt with these topics – with a special focus on the Dominican Republic – in my academic research, I found many aspects that underlined my findings. Taking into consideration that developing countries have 80% of the world’s population, but consume only 30% of global commercial energy, it’s obvious that an acceleration of energy accessibility is necessary.

    In the Dominican Republic, where many households do not have access to energy, private enterprises, as well as the government, are increasing initiatives to promote
    renewable energy. Households in rural areas especially are being targeted for renewable energy options. One exemplary enterprise is Soluz Dominicana, which is offering photovoltaic systems on a fee-for-service business model.

    In 2007, the Dominican government passed a law that grants numerous incentives and tax exemptions to investors in renewable energy. The Dominican Republic’s
    perspectives on renewable energy supply are consequently very good, and the strategies applied in this country could serve as an example for other developing countries.

  4. Ethel Red

    This is all OK as far as recommendations for governments, but at the end of the day nearly all the world’s governments are primarily interested in revenue. Unless there are fundamental political changes, providing access to energy will only be an option if people can pay for it. Thus poor people will remain without energy access.

    Take South Africa, for example. In 1994 voters backed the ANC because it said it would provide essential services such as water, health care, education and electricity as a service, and not as a source of revenue. What happened? Let’s take electricity. There has been chronic underinvestment in the state-owned power company, ESKOM, and as a result ESKOM has started to raise prices beyond the reach of poor people.

    If people fail to pay their electricity bills, then ESKOM disconnects their supply altogether. So, under a government that has failed to meet its pre-election promises to provide essential services to the people, energy access is declining.

    Thankfully in places like Soweto, some people are not just sitting back and letting this happen. The Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC) is a group of electricians who believe it is the people’s right to have free power.

    When poor people are disconnected for failing to keep up with their bill, crusading electricians from the SECC come around to reconnect them. They are reconnecting about 40 houses every week.

    And what’s more, the local police force agree with what they are doing, and are turning a blind-eye.

    As people struggle to pay, the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee is likely to get busier and busier.

    “We are giving back what belongs to the people. It’s not a luxury,” says one of the SECC actitivists.

  5. carthur

    Hi Doreen. Please tell us more about Uganda’s efforts to promote access to energy for the poor. Why are the policies failing to be implemented?