Toolkit for Increasing Energy Access

This toolkit has benefited from a succession of efforts from many individuals and organizations. USAID supported the effort to assemble this Wikispace and its related files. UNFCCC and UNEP, as well as the UN Foundation, sponsored the toolkits and guidebooks presented here. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided critical core support to E+Co. Dozens of people recorded the information found in the case studies. Programs such as FENERCA, AREED and UNDP-MFP provided a basis for learning what does and does not work.
  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • How
  • Why
Framework Topics
  • Enterprises
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Technologies
    • Enterprise finance
    • Enterprise services
  • Customers
    • Demand
    • Knowledge
    • End-user finance
    • Customer service
Cross-Cutting Topics
  • Policy environments
  • Carbon finance
  • Subsidies
  • Avenues of intervention
Summary of the 6 Modules
  1. Presentations
  2. Case Studies
  3. Tools
  4. Reports & Documents
  5. Videos
  6. Links

The Toolkit is collection of resources related to energy access in developing counties.Though we expect the toolkit to be an ongoing activity, for now it is organized into a "Topics" section and six "Modules".

  • WHO is the audience? Anyone preparing, implementing or reviewing a project, program, business plan or proposal aimed at increasing modern energy services to presently un-served or underserved populations.

  • WHAT is included? A set of presentations, a collection of case studies, a set of tools to help with planning and implementation, a list of documents spanning global references to on-the-ground reports, a video library, and an external links resource.

  • WHERE is the focus? Developing country energy access. However, the content is relevant to almost any region and easily applies beyond just energy.

  • HOW is it used? Everyone learns differently, so it depends on the user. However, there should be enough narrative, quantitative and visual information here to satisfy a wide cross-section of interested parties. Tour the entire site, download and examine at least one component from each of the major sections, and see how they work for you. Please contact the administrators ( & to share your concerns and suggest improvements. The site is presented in a "building block" format, an approach validated by separate experiences with entrepreneurs and international development professionals. Feel free to suggest an alternate approach.

  • WHY was it created? As a repository of materials related to energy development; to create a place where even better materials can be routed; and to make these materials accessible to busy professionals. Any original material is meant to synthesize lessons learned and to place experiences in a framework that can help professionals get the job done.

Practical experiences inform the toolkit: some projects are successful, scaleable and self-sustaining, while others are, at best, only partially successful. We aim to convey lessons learned from successes and failures in the field.
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Framework Topics

The enterprise-centered approach to development, and specifically to energy provision, hinges on the mutually beneficial relationship between the seller and customer. These transactions, and each side's ability to engage in them, are the starting point for much analysis regarding why some endeavors succeed and others fail. Examining this relationship can also provide hints at the possibilities for "going to scale". The variables discussed in this section represent the primary factors that promote each side's capacity and willingness to participate in the sale and purchase of improved energy products and services. They include the presence of a strong entrepreneur, appropriate technology, the availability of SME finance and development services, consumer demand for better energy and knowledge of alternatives, and access to end-user finance and after-sales service. Visit the Enterprise-Customer Framework Topics.
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Cross-Cutting Topics

Policy and Enabling Environments: What are the factors beyond the immediate enterprise-customer relationship that are capable of influencing outcomes? Tax treatment, energy regulation, business and investment regulations and bureaucracy, government subsidies, carbon markets, bank laws, the presence and strength of various financial institutions... the list goes on and on. This section also takes a bottom-up look at true deal-breakers - policy interventions that didn't produce any significant gains, when a simple lack of interference may be all that was required. In addition, there are some examples of active policy interventions that have proved catalytic to stimulating market activity.

Carbon Finance: Carbon finance can be used to aid in clean energy business development. Where has it been most influential so far? What criteria need to be met in order to develop businesses' carbon potential? Additionally, some background materials on the science of climate change and the various standards and methodologies are included.

Subsidies: This section first maps the universe of possible points for various subsidies to enter the value chain, then questions both the relative effectiveness and efficiency of several types of subsidies, and, lastly, provides three contrasting examples of subsidies currently used to promote clean energy access in conjunction with a sustainable business approach.

Avenues of Intervention: What are the possible avenues for intervention and which are best suited to the organization and local context? This section highlights some different strategies for program and institutional design from the perspective of a large donor, a government agency or a small NGO wanting to get involved in promoting the clean energy space.
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6 Modules

Module 1 - Presentations
contains PowerPoint presentations. The first, "Summary Presentation", elaborates on this summary and serves as a table of contents for all the available presentations and slides as well as the other modules in the toolkit. If you are new to this Toolkit, VISIT THIS FIRST. Other presentations address such topics as the magnitude of the challenge of energy access and the two-part framework proposed for evaluating the "balance" of any effort to increase energy access.

Module 2 - Case Studies includes
both the enterprise- and the program-level research. Here you will find success stories such as Red Ceramics in Bolivia, Zara Solar in Tanzania and LaEsperanza in Honduras juxtaposed with some less-than-successful examples. In both types, we try to identify what worked and the lessons learned. Also included are project and policy effort "stories" such as FENERCA earlier this decade, E+Co since 1994, and the biogas program in Nepal that has had such an impact on household energy.

Module 3 - Tools & Checklists contains training manuals and spreadsheets, checklists on due diligence and other topics, and fact sheets on technologies and applications.There are guides here on "how to prepare an energy enterprise business plan" for entrepreneurs as well as more elaborate guides and templates on "how to prepare a technology transfer proposal for financing". The first was originally developed by AREED, an effort of UNEP, the UN Foundation, five country-level NGOs in Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Mali and Tanzania (KITE, ENDA, CEEEZ, MFC and TaTAEDO), and E+Co. The second was commissioned by the UNFCCC in an effort to bridge the language and understanding gap among development professionals, financiers, policy makers and environmental experts.

Module 4 - Reports & Documents is a compendium of relevant documents meant to provide a balanced introduction to the sector and to lead the reader to other resources. (It is not a dumping ground for everything published in the energy for development space.) These documents also contain much of the reference data used elsewhere in the toolkit.

Module 5 - Videos contains YouTube-based clips, several of which are referenced in the case studies. This module will develop as media technology progresses.

Module 6 - Links is a list of resources that may be of use to either champions or enablers.

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