Resilience Monetization and Credits Initiative: A Background Paper

Addressing climate change requires urgent and innovative action aimed at both mitigating its effects and addressing its most severe impacts. However, current investment levels are insufficient to match the escalating climate risks and damages. Despite the annual target of $100 billion established at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference/Conference of Parties, climate finance directed to low- and middle-income countries continues to lag behind stated goals.

The State of Blended Finance 2023: Climate Edition

This year’s edition of the State of Blended Finance published by Convergence once again focuses on climate. Climate change continues to be central to the blended finance market and to sustainable development more broadly. Jackson Ewing, director of energy and climate policy at the Nicholas Institute, and Jonathan Phillips, director of the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke, were among the experts and stakeholders interviewed for the report. Ewing and Phillips offered insights on Just Energy Transition Partnerships as a partnership model for mobilizing climate blended finance.

Barriers to Off-Grid Energy Development: Evidence from a Comparative Survey of Private Sector Energy Service Providers in Eastern Africa

In light of recent growth and falling costs of solar photovoltaic technology, this paper examines the barriers and opportunities facing off-grid development in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, four countries whose off-grid sectors vary in maturity.

Making Clean Energy Transitions More Inclusive: Evidence, Knowledge Gaps, and Policy Options in Low-Income Economies

Access to reliable renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide significant climate, development, and equity benefits. Transitions to clean energy are compatible with sustainable and equitable development and women’s economic empowerment. However, in the absence of adequate policies, they may reinforce existing inequalities. This policy brief summarizes the evidence that supports and knowledge gaps that hinder clean and inclusive energy transitions.

Can Time-of-Use Tariffs Increase the Financial Viability of Mini-Grids?

Declining solar and battery costs and increased operational efficiency have helped expand community-scale mini-grids, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where they now meet the power needs of over 47 million people. However, mini-grid system economics must continue to improve to be a reliable power solution for the nearly 800 million people still lacking access. Time-of-use (ToU) tariffs could represent one piece of the solution. This policy brief develops a model to estimate the effects of a ToU tariff using data from Energicity, a solar mini-grid operator in Sierra Leone.

Climate Finance for Just Transitions

This paper investigates challenges in the international climate finance landscape through three issue areas: (1) aligning national climate strategies and international finance, (2) finding avenues for positive climate finance outcomes in an era of growing rivalry between Chinese and Group of Seven—particularly US—public financiers, and (3) reforming major climate finance practices and institutions to more effectively cater to the needs of LMIC stakeholders.

Improving Rural Livelihoods, Energy Access, and Resilience Where It’s Needed Most: The Case for Solar Mini-Grid Irrigation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s levels of agricultural productivity and energy access are among the lowest in the world. Now Ethiopia is moving forward with the new Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM) project to test distributed solar mini-grids as a solution for improving irrigation, increasing agricultural productivity and farmer incomes, expanding rural electricity access, and enhancing gender and social inclusion. This policy brief summarizes the approach, along with findings of an economic viability analysis examining how the solar mini-grid irrigation projects are likely to impact farmers' incomes at nine unique sites in rural Ethiopia.

Catalyzing Climate Finance for Low-Carbon Agriculture Enterprises

Despite minimal contributions to causing climate change, rural households working in the agriculture sector are disproportionately impacted by climate-related shocks and see it as one of the biggest risks to their livelihoods.

COVID-19 and Distributed Renewables: How the Crisis Has Affected the Sector and What It Means for People, the Planet, and the Future of Energy Access

Over the course of 2021, the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke University (EAP) convened three dialogues with a range of distributed renewable energy stakeholders representing research, business, investor, nonprofit, and policymaker perspectives. One of these sessions was a public event at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland—co-organized by Bboxx and EAP. The purpose of these conversations was to discuss the major impacts, lessons and narratives emerging within the sector in the wake of a period of great upheaval.

Lessons for Modernizing Energy Access Finance, Part 2 – Balancing Competition and Subsidy: Assessing Mini-Grid Incentive Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa

This policy brief summarizes a review of 20 mini-grid incentive programs in sub-Saharan Africa, 17 of which are still being implemented. The programs analyzed primarily used one of two mechanisms to stimulate investment: auction programs and results-based financing (RBF) programs.