Is it possible to conquer energy poverty?

At our recent seminar about conquering energy poverty, multiple influencers discussed how we can solve the lack of energy in off-grid communities.

CEO at BRIGHT, Ingun Berget. FOTO: TOM HANSEN
CEO at BRIGHT, Ingun Berget. Photo: Tom Hansen

Thursday 21st June, BRIGHT Products held a seminar with the theme “Conquering Energy Poverty – Off-grid solutions and financial inclusion”. After weeks of debate in different Norwegian newspapers on how to solve the lack of energy in the developing world, it was a perfect time to discuss this topic. The moderator of the day, Jon Vea from NHO, urged the speakers to talk about solutions, not challenges, on how to scale up renewable energy access.

The seminar speakers were represented from companies and organisations like the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Multiconsult, NHO (Norwegian Chamber of Commerce), ZERO, Strømmestiftelsen, Norges Vel and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
They agreed that;

“If you are addressing poverty, you have to address the lack of energy”, Pio Ding, NCA

The question of how to do so, let to many fruitful discussions during the day. The seminar questioned the difficult and costly transmission and distribution of on-grid solutions. In addition, to time-consuming political process to reach the most vulnerable. Can we afford to wait?

The seminar gave clear directions for the approach going forward: Renewable on-grid energy solutions are needed, but distribution of off-grid solutions should be built in parallel.

“If we’re going to reach energy for all, we need to use off-grid solutions”, Per Kristian Sbertoli, ZERO.

Off-grid solar solutions will reach the poorest populations living in remote areas otherwise left out. Not having access to clean energy is proven to be a main barrier for the economic development of these areas.

“The idea of what is possible, is changing rapidly due to continuous cost decrease”, Christopher Ruud, Multiconsult

Not one stakeholder or one sector can make this transformation happen alone. We need partnerships, engagement from all sectors and financial support mechanisms where the risk can be shared.

“There’s enough money out there for the right partnerships. Together we can share risk and develop innovative long-term relationships, using both public and private financing”, CEO of BRIGHT, Ingun Berget.

The seminar gathered the Norwegian influencers to learn from each other and discuss future opportunities. Bringing people together creates the engagement we need to reach SDG#7: renewable energy for all. It is possible!

Thank you all for joining us at this seminar, and we are looking forward to the next time. If you want to see pictures from the seminar, please to go our Facebook page facebook.com/BrightProducts.