BETD 2018: Policies and Investments for Energy Access


It’s my great pleasure to introduce Dr Linda
Davis. She promotes a central role for women in addressing
both energy poverty and climate change. She had previous extensive experience in senior
level positions within the renewable energy sector focusing in particular on biofuels. It’s wonderful to have you with us. I’m also very pleased to introduce seated
next to Linda on your right, ladies and gentlemen, looking from the audience, Khaled Kaddour. He has held a number of high-level posts in
successive Tunisian administrations, and also directed numerous studies on the hydro- carbon
sector in northern Africa, Europe, and the United States. A warm welcome to you. Kimmo Tiilikainen is seated next to me. He’s Minister of Environment, energy, and
housing in Finland. He has also served previously as the Minister
of Environment – this is his second turn with that portfolio, and also was Minister of Housing
as well as Minister of Agriculture. It is a sparsely populated country with a
third of its territory on the Arctic circle, Finland has placed a high priority on succeed
access to energy. We will hear more about that shortly. We had hoped to have with us the minister
for development co-operation from Germany. Unfortunately, he was obliged to cancel it
at short notice, so we regret that, but we have a wonderful international panel here
present with us today. So, given that, in equal access to energy
imposes particular burdens on women who are often the primary energy managers in their
households, I would like to ask Linda Davis to get us started with an input. Perhaps you could tell us more about wPower
and its achievements, and also your own motivation in getting involved. Was it more about empowering women, or was
it more about the climate peace? Thank you very much, distinguished guests,
Energy Minister. I’m very pleased to be here, representing
Kenya specifically, and perhaps share some perspectives from the African continent. I will answer your second question first,
just to set the stage for my presence here. I’m Linda Davis, as you said, and I’m a Kenyan
national. I grew up in Kenya. I did my first degree in Kenya, and then I
moved away to the West – Australia and the US. It’s at that point when I started to really
recognise the differences as far as development and energy are concerned. So, after 20 years of living away from my
home country, I moved back to Kenya about two years ago really to see if I could make
a difference in this particular spectre. I was living in the US where I took it for
granted that I walk into a room, I flip a switch, and electricity comes. I have maybe nine opportunities to boil water. I can use a kettle, I can use gas, I had so
many options to do that. And then it really made me think about not
necessarily the home I grew up in the city of Nairobi, but the village. Most Africans would recognise that. We have two homes. If you live in the city, you have a village
back home. And my village, I remember distinctly, was
exactly not the experience that I had, right? I began to understand that this problem is
very prevalent, and not just prevalent from a statistical standpoint, prevalent because
90 per cent of my own family had these kinds of lack of electricity. So I moved back to Kenya to see if, indeed,
I can participate in solving this large problem, which bricks me to my current position, the
wPower hub. wPower stands for the partnership on women’s renewables. It is a initiative of the United States State
Department – the DOS. Under the leadership of Secretary Clinton,
we were putting together in 2013, because she recognised that this problem has to get
attention from the highest levels. But she also recognised the following: that
women are not just victims of this issue. Granted, as Dr Crane has explained, women
are disproportionately affected by this issue, because they are the primary energy managers. What exactly does that mean? In most of our Sub-Saharan countries in south-east
Asia, the woman is responsible for putting a hot meal on the table every single day – or
maybe two meals on the table every single day. What does that mean? That means that twice or three times a week,
she has to travel, maybe an average of five to seven kilometres, into the forest, carry
52 kilograms of firewood back to the home, and then spend an hour lighting this firewood,
or charcoal, and then that same fumes ends up killing her. That is due to complications of indoor house
pollution, and the statistics show – and I’m sure you have had this yesterday – that indoor
house pollution kills more people than AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria combined. The WHO says that number is about four million
people. I can tell you that women and children are
over represented in that number because they are the primary cookers. They’re the ones that cook the meals in the
house. They are the suns that spend the – they’re
the ones that spend the most time in the kitchen. Another statistic I heard in the United States
that said I need to come back home is that an hour of cooking in a smoky kitchen is equivalent
of smoking four packets of cigarettes a day. If you ask my grandmother who cooked in this
manner does she more than one occasion four packets of cigarettes a day? She would say you’re out of your mind. Yet, every single day, this is her daily existence. So, at wPower, what do we do? We promote the role of women across the value
chain. A lot of our counterparts think of women and
they think about the consumer low-value end, but what we are saying at wPower is women
need to be represented all the way as policymakers, energy ministers, perhaps – perhaps women
need to be represented in high-level assistance to help enact policies. The research shows that if you have women
in senior-level positions in energy organisations or in energy companies, then the policies
that come out of that are reflective of the needs of women. In Africa, those needs are very peculiar,
and very, very specific. So we need more women across the value chain,
all the way from the top. We need more women designers, women designing
solutions that are people-centred. The number of times that we have solutions
for cooking or lighting that are not reflective of the woman – there are many, right? You find a clean cook stove that has been
purchased at great expense, and, after a while, they realise that is not solving my problem,
and it’s used as a doorstoper, or even a stool, right? These are not solutions. These are problems that can be avoided, especially
if we involve women across the value chain. I can give more and more examples around where
women are missing to detrimental effect, and that is why that number doesn’t change. 1.2 billion people cannot cook or have lighting,
right? So I just want to end with one quick provocation
here:: it is very exciting for me in the land of engineers, you know? Germany is known for its engineering prowess. So, I guess my position is we need to see
a market. We need to see a market in the 1.2 billion
people. We need to see a market in the 600,000 Africans
who are dying every day because of cooking and lighting. We need to see a market. What do I mean by that? Back in the 1990s, I’m sure you remember,
the cellphone was for the elite. They were very expensive. An organisation not German, Nokia, saw a market
and saw to de-cost this particular piece of equipment. 80 per cent of Kenyans right now have a cellphone. If you have 100,000 shillings which is $1,000,
you can have a phone. If you have 1,000 shillings, you can have
a phone. It can tweet, you can go on Facebook, you
can do all these things. 1,000 shillings, which is ten dollars. You can tweet. 1,000, you can tweet. So, my point is: how can we de-cost cook stoves,
for instance? How do we get motivated and moved to say,
“Not on my watch. I’m a smart engineer, I’m a smart country. Let’s get motivated to get those products
at the price point that people in Africa can afford.” So I leave it there. Perhaps we can discuss some more a bit later. I’m going to ask you to open your next question
in the next round. [Applause]. We will pick up on what policymakers can do
to give businesses building that framework for building that case to access. Let me couple to Tunisia, which, some years
ago, undertook a national commitment to improve access, and, in fact, most people in Tunisia,
if the statistics, if I’ve interpreted the statistics correctly, to now benefit from
modern energy services. So, would you explain how did Tunisia improve
access to energy, and what role did the predecessor of the sustainable goals, namely the millennium
Development Goals, what role did they play in shaping your policy framework? As I understood it would be that was absolutely
one of the drivers. RANA ADIB: Thank you very much. I would like to speak French, if it is possible? It’s better for me. I’m very happy to be here with you today to
participate in this fourth energy transition dialogue here in Berlin which is being organised
by the Federal Government, which I would like to thank very much, and I would like to thank
for the co-operation between Germany and Tunisia in the energy sector, and also in the renewables. I think it is an exemplary partnership, and
has been for many years, and we’re not actually harvesting the fruits of this co-operation. I would also like to thank the organisers
for having the opportunity here to speak with you, and to also share our experience from
Tunisia in the area of renewables. Tunisia is a country south of the Mediterranean
sea, so it’s not far from your way of a common border with Europe, and we also have a privileged
partnership with Europe. It is a small country, a dynamic country also,
as far as energy is concerned, and I will show how we’ve developed our energy sector,
how we have tried to develop energy in Tunisia. More recently, how we’ve ruled out renewables
in our country. Last year, there was a first – rolled out
renewables in our country. Last year, there was an auction for renewable
energy, and we had competitive prices, low prices, compared to classic fossil fuel energy
that is a future thing for us – it’s completely new for us. We’re now having 800 megawatts for solar and
wind power, and it will be at the end of April, and we are also – we would be happy to see
German investors bid in these auctions in order to implement new renewables projects. As far as electrification in Tunisia is concerned,
when Tunisia became independent in 1956, electrification was still quite low. Now we are at 99 per cent electrification
rate, so I think that almost all of Tunisia is electrified, and this is due to the determined
policies that were undertaken in the first years after Tunisian independence, major reforms
were undertaken back then, and the goal was to make sure that all people have access to
electricity. Also people in rural areas, poor people, and
make sure that also rural areas far off the cities have access to electricity. We’ve really managed make this happen, but
it was a huge challenge, and it was really thanks to the determined policies undertaken
by the government in the years after Tunisian independence. How have we managed to achieve all of this? Well, first of all, there was a national energy
supplier, a utility, electricity supplier, and so this company, it was tasked really
to roll out electricity access to the whole country across the country. Tariffs were set in a way make sure that the
poorer population could have access to electricity. This means that government actually paid for
connecting people to the electricity grid. And citizens of course, they pay for the electricity
they use, but the connection was paid for by the government. There were three groups of the population,
so the poorer people who received a subsidised price to make sure they could actually pay
for the electricity they received and the other two groups would be that was the rest
of the population, and that had a little bit of money to pay for the electricity they used. Electrification was of huge importance for
Tunisia, because it allowed us to provide poorer parts of the population with access
to education. Also to improve the livelihoods of these groups
because they then were able to buy a refrigerator, TV, everything that was necessary and also
a little bit of a luxury and this was true for the whole of the population when it came
to family planning. This had been a big project in Tunisia. Restrict –
and inform households about this object. In the past, we had the radios to do this. Of course, radios need electricity, and then
we had TVs. It was a huge effort that was undertaken,
a huge transformation within society, and we believe that this has been very successful. It has been a very successful development
that started in the 1960s, so this is maybe an overview of the Tunisian experience with
electrification. Also, between access to power and education,
even in the broadest possible sense of the word. Let me come now to Finland, and Minister Tiilikainen. The World Energy Council Sustainability Index
rates Finland in its top ten, not least for improvements you have made to improving access
to electricity and clean energy in particular. But, because of your northern location, per
capita, power consumption is quite high. I think it would be interesting to hear how
Finland is tackling the challenge of energy transition under its particular circumstances. Thank you, and thank you for the invitation
to this panel. I’m delighted to be here with you today. Actually, you mentioned that Finland is sparsely
populated areas and cold climate, and so on, and before I come to today’s and future challenges,
I want to look at a couple of decades backwards. Namely, when I was born in little remote island
on Lake Saimaa, one of our biggest lakes in the countryside, that rarely got access a
couple of years before my birth. Today, Finland is known for high education,
high-technology, and this high environmental performance, but I think that the key factors
to our quick development in the past was the equal opportunities for education, and also
the energy access to all throughout the country. Today, I can clearly see the energy access,
and its contribution to sustainable calls. Energy access is a key for better education,
better health care, clean water, and all these development steps that this brings with with
energy access, yes. And, but I’m very optimistic that this, despite
the fact that there are billions of people that miss either electricity or good cooking
opportunities, like we heard earlier. I think that, by 2030, we have all the means
to achieve globally the energy access for all, because the modern technology and renewable
energy solutions give much better opportunities to offer energy access than those old fashioned
ways where we had to build the nationwide to offer – grids to offer energy access. I’m optimistic by using modern technology
and renewable energy, we can achieve these development steps. What is Finland going to do to help our partners? For example, we have established energy environment
partnership programmes in five regions to solve energy access challenges, and this energy
environment partnership provides grant financing to small businesses that provide clean energy
services. In Africa, this EEP programme has supported
250 project in 13 countries, and provided improved energy access to one million African
households since 2014, so, during the last three or four years. And, by the way, the energy access for one
million households, it is five to six million people, and it equals the Finnish population,
so, with our experience and help, I wish that we can continue this kind of programme. But we can’t stop in Finland where we are
right now. We have to go further. The next challenge is how to make even quicker
transformation to clean and renewable energy. We are fully committed to the Paris Agreement
targets but also we are trying to improve our own performance so we can go quicker to
the future that is needed. In Canada and the UK, we were empowering this
alliance last autumn in Bonn and, last week, we decided that Finland is going to ban the
use of coal in energy production by 2029. Then we have some subsidy package for early
developers. We will use renewable for heating, cooling,
the whole energy above 50 per cent in the next decade. But, besides this, I’m very interested personally
to develop outside demonstration platforms for the future energy system that even one
– developing this kind of platform for the future needs I think that this experience
can also be used in co-operation with some other countries in the world. So, some of our experiences and future challenges,
but we are very ready to work further with this. Thanks. I would like to come back
a bit later to the role of development, co-operation, and partnership. Let’s pick up now on the question of policy
frameworks that can drive access, and I would like also to reference in that discussion
the whole question of on-grid and off-grid. You talked about it about decentralised renewables. Linda Davis, as I said, I would like to hear
from you what you would like to see from policymakers in Kenya? What kind of policies do you believe are needed
to facilitate your ability to promote access to energy, and to the kind of investments
that are needed? Thanks for your comments as well. The answer is pretty simple. It is more understanding that absent energy
really, other development goals will not move ahead, won’t move ahead at the pace they’re
supposed to be. So to me, it is surprising how we work, or
some of our leader, not just specifically in Kenya, work? Silos, in isolation – the agricultural minister,
the education minister, the health minister. Understanding that investing in energy first
will make a lot of the targets work quickly. So, more of an integrated understanding would
be very, very helpful. Then, instead of each ministry allocating
funds to attack energy in some level, or put some policies which are obviously not going
to be implemented because of the lack of energy, or lack of inefficient and reliable energy. If you’re going to have a hospital, most of
them are electrified, but if there will be brown-outs or black-outs two or three times
a day, or whatever the number is, then obviously that hospital isn’t going to function as well
as it needs to be, and there are going some some consequences. Being fully integrated with the other development
goals of a nation is quite critical. That’s number one. Number 2, we need to think about real incentives
for the sector. Be it the off-grid centre centre, and the
on-grid centre. Let’s get the incentives align. Let’s understand that, if we’re bringing in
an off-grid solution, what incentives can there be? Tax incentives, tax holidays, things like
that, and not to look at off-grid solutions is it competitors, and some of our nations
do that. The government would probably have, you know,
a programme to electrify the nation, just what you did in your country. However, we need to recognise the demographic,
and the social economic realities of some of our nations. So what do I mean by that? If we look at the example of Kenya, electrification
as far as the transmission lines and generation has improved maybe 40 per cent in the last
five years. You would expect there would be a 40 per cent
reduction in perhaps charcoal use, firewood use or kerosene use – which is used for lighting. There is no reduction. We can say that kerosene is on its way to
being 100 per cent electrified by 2020. This is not a just transition the way the
minister said. This is not a transition that includes everybody. This is not a people-centred transition. When we can trick the box in the high level,
yet, the reality on the ground, these solutions are still not addressing a big number of the
population. The third point I want to make is that incentives
and subsidies, and tax, tax holidays, you know, need to be across the board, right? If it needs to be about manufacturing equipment
coming in to make some of these off-grid solutions, it could be a training. It would be wage subsidies. It could be other subsidies that really accelerate
this issue. The last point I want to make, and this is
more of an international call, is when you’re developing a foreign policy or a budget thinking
about partnerships to help tackle this problem, because you recognise that climate change,
unfortunately, has no borders. Climate change in Kenya equals climate change
in Finland. Understanding that, I feel we need to be more
bolder in our initiatives, right? And what do I mean again? So, a lot of the practitioners, especially
in the off-grid space, are fragmented. A lot of young and enterprising start-ups
would come with some funding that they raised from their only countries primarily, but they
would be working in a very fragmented way. One person affecting 100,000 here on a big
scale, another one affecting 500, those kind of things, right? That’s all good. That’s all good. But we need that solution. We need that Nokia solution, that really makes
this technology affordable for the masses. Thank you very much. Minister, two questions to you, that on-grid
and off-grid issue. How does your government, how does the policy
framework in Tunisia see these two options? Do you, in fact, see off-grid as a competitor,
or would you say they are complementary to each other? Secondly, your law on renewables. You did adopt a new law in 2015 that’s aimed
to boost private sector investment and liberalised regulation in order to facilitate production
and access to renewables. Some solar operators say that the government
needs further to clarify the framework in order to really unlock investment. So, if you would perhaps address those two
points – on-grid/off-grid, and then the 2015 law, and whether it’s doing enough to create
that kind of enabling framework. That’s what we are discussing right now in
Tunisia. In these are really hot issues at the moment. Regarding the current form of electrification. We’ve reached 100 per cent of electrification
of the country, now we are going towards energy efficiency and renewables. We have a whole programme behind this, and,
in particular, we want to have more solar panels on buildings. We have 60,000 houses, we have solar panels
to reduce the energy bills for this part of the population, and also to – so that they
can – we can use other renewables. So this project is now being developed in
several regions in the country. The second point I want to raise is the use
of solar equipment for heating water. We have solar equipment which also makes it
to be to generate hot water. Those are solutions for individual households. This has made it possible to cut the bills
for the energy bills for the population. That means that we’ve created a programme
to promote these solutions. And the Act states that, if the solar panels
are installed on a house, that you get a subsidy for that, and the aim is to incentivise people
to make use of solar power. It is an incentive programme for
the population. That is already led to a lot of positive results,
and, we’re now setting up a new programme to make further progress on this. All this is taking place in partnership with
private Tunisian banks. This is a partnership between the banks, between
the electricity generators, and the households. So three parties sign a contract: the bank
finances the solar equipment; and then the electricity company is a mediator which makes
this financing possible. So this is our financial solution for these
projects. It’s a very interesting solution to the financing
because it means that the households do not suddenly have to make a major investment in
the solar equipment. Now, the 2015 Act, well, that Act promotes
renewable energy. As I said, we started this first auction. We’ve got good results on the first auction,
particularly in terms of the prices. The prices were four to five euro cents. That is a good figure. And this is good news for us. Now, we are setting up further programmes
together with the private sector. 800 megawatts, which it is to be rolled out
in the form of IPPs, and together with the electricity-generating company. We’re talking about 11,000 megawatts which
is to be rolled out in the coming weeks and months. With regard to money, and the problem of the
electricity costs, we’ve revised this. After the first auction, we add competitive
prices, and we revised electricity fees, and, in the first half of the year, we have a new
PPA which will Tunisians to invest in renewables. We’re talking about 800 megawatts. 300 of this will be wind, and 500 solar. That’s the breakdown of the renewables. Thank you. It also woo involve the private sector. How Finland is seeking to engage the private
sector, and by that, I mean not only perhaps small firms but households in the energy transition. How do you see the role also of prosumers,
for example? I think, for example, in future, the electricity
market in countries like Finland and many other corners in EU, the role of consumers
will be much more active than today, but we need also so-called companies to make a group
of consumers to operate in the electricity market more efficient ways than that’s one
way that consumers can have a more active role. Then consumers can also be producers. So we need that kind of small-scale renewable
electricity provision, for example, so people can, or small companies can produce for their
own use but also sell the rest of the production to others. Actually, a few minutes of to my dear colleagues
on this panel, if you allow? DR CRANE: Please. I’m very happy to hear what Tunisia is doing,
and, like my colleague mentioned, the competitiveness of renewable starts to be at the same level
as traditional power sources, for example, and it’s very good news also for the large-scale
renewable production. But the good thing in renewable energy, for
example, in solar, is the scaleability. So it can be installed to private households
level to small villages, and then very large-scale production, and it brings very good opportunities
for many corners of the world. I think that the most remote villages, for
example, in Africa, can have access to electricity, but it also can provide water pumps to provide
clean water, and so that it can have reflection to education. Girls don’t need to spend hours a day by carrying
water from some remote source. They can go to school to get the water in
the village if solar power is there, and if it runs water pumps and purifies the water. So electricity access is very important. And we have to keep this in mind, and try
to co-operate with our partners but also involve private sector to do this. I very much like what Linda mentioned that
it’s a huge market for companies. Think of it that way. It’s a huge market to offer access to electricity
and other good things, but please do it in the way that we’re not disturbing the environment
and climate. Given all that you have said, where does Finland
come down on this on-grid versus off-grid? Do you see them as competitors or would you
say we need to build the business case for access as a whole rather than, say, picking
a particular technology as a favourite? They’re not competing. It depends on the local conditions. The more population you have in some part
of the country, you can have a nationwide grid, but then, it’s a question of equality. No matter where you are living, off-grid solutions
can provide you with the same opportunities than those persons who are living in bigger
towns or villages, or cities, so, it’s a question of equality that we have to use off-grid solutions
all around the world. Thank you very much. We will come back in a moment to a final brief
round on development co-operation, but let me first ask Janelle to rejoin us. Whether you have some feedback perhaps, to
the panel and/or on that question that you posed? JANELLE: I asked how to accelerate universal
access to clean energy. One idea is to come away from fossil systems
and to commit to clean energy for everybody. Underpin commitment by ambitious action and
enabling policies. I have to say that, on Twitter, we’ve seen
a lot of resonance, especially from the statements of Dr Davis. Just as cellphone has simplified access to
technology, we hope to make energy access to all women. There was quite a bit of shock at your statement
that the use of unclean cook stoves equates to smoking four packs of cigarettes a day
in women in Sub-Saharan Africa. We definitely feel more educated about this
now. Thanks very much. Briefly, because we do need to be winding
up our panel, I’m sorry to say, but just a word from all of you on how you think development
co-operation can best support developing countries in boosting access and transforming their
energy systems. What should be the absolute priorities for
co-operation partners? I will start with Linda, please. We look after 36 organisations that tackle
the energy at the last mile. If I ask for them what is the priority, the
answer will not be surprising to anybody in this audience. It is really a question of funding. It is a question of funding and really prioritising
this particular market. You know, putting our money where our mouth
is, because we have been talking about the issue of lack of access for a long time. You know, I want to end with a dear story
of a good friend of mine now, I believe. She’s maybe 78, 90 years old. When she found out I had moved to Kenya to
help in some way or participate, or do my part, she said, “Oh, dear, bless, very nice
and kind of you to go back.” She was one of the original founders of UNIFEM
which has involved to become a UN foundation. The reason why she said that’s very cute of
you to do that, because, in 1960, the issue of energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa and
South-East Asia was of utmost priority to the UN foundation. So she thought it quaint of me in 2016, I’m
there emphasising, this is an issue of utmost priority. We must deal with it. So, my point is, let’s not let another 70
years ago, and the numbers are still the same. This is of the utmost priority. The next Berlin Energy Transition, let’s say
the numbers have gone down. We have absolutely increased access to electricity
in a just way – in a just way. Not because you put a pole outside my house,
I look at it, I need $150 to bring it to my house, and then after that, I can’t afford
to buy this electricity sustainably. That’s not a just transition. That’s not a just transition. Where do you see the chief priorities for
the co-operation partners? Is it about funding, capacity-building, or
something else? I believe that technological development is
the biggest priority. In order to inform the energy supply, we really
need performing technologies that are accessible to all at affordable prices. This will change how we supply energy, and
will help supply energy to the whole of the population. It is important to focus on technology, for
example, PV has almost reached the same price and fossil energies, and it’s thanks to technological
development that we’ve gone that far. And now, let’s focus on transport for a moment. Two thirds of consumption of energy comes
from the transport sector. So now, if the technology industry can provide
solutions that help us make sure that trains and buses, and cars, use renewable energy,
that you would be a big step for humanity, and this would of course help also reduce
CO2 emissions around the world. Technological development plays a huge role
in this sector. I would like to mention two more items. One is the need for new technology business
models. We have solutions. We have modern technology, but for the poor
people in developing countries, the barrier can be that it’s too expensive to invest on
new technologies. So, we need business models that someone else
is doing the investment, and to pay-as-you-go billing, and mobile payment options should
be offered to have those kind of services available. Then, one other thing for policymakers around
the world is that in very many countries, fossil fuels are still subsidised, so that
you offer cheap fossil fuels for your citizens, and, instead of offering that, you should
offer access to clean energy and electricity. This kind of policy changes, I would really
like to see around the world. Thank you. So that absolutely goes to sharing best practices
and capacity-building in terms of policies for the energy transition, and how we can
learn from one another, because of course subsidising fossil fuel sources don’t occur
only in developing countries, but in many countries around the world. Many thanks to all of you for this very, very
interesting discussion. Let’s give them a warm round of applause,
ladies and gentlemen. Thank you..

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