Rural people in low and middle income countries should be able to benefit from renewable energy as well as townspeople. This is the position Hivos takes in a new report on renewable energy in remote areas presented last week in Brussels.
Currently, one-fifth of the world’s population – 1.3 billion people – lack access to energy. 2.6 billion people rely on old-fashioned firewood that exposes them to unhealthy smoke fumes. The vast majority of this group is poor and lives in rural areas.
Hivos knows that access to affordable renewable energy can make a world of difference for poor people in remote areas. Renewable energy contributes to healthier living conditions and has a positive impact on productivity. Just something as simple as lighting allows rural children to do their homework after dark. These positive effects have been demonstrated in Hivos’ biogas projects in East Africa and green energy projects on the Indonesian island of Sumba.
The European Union has endorsed the importance of renewable energy in remote areas in its policy and budget. Hivos calls upon the decision-makers in Brussels to exercise their influence to actually realise their good intentions.
Hivos also advocates for increased involvement of civil society organisations in the development, implementation and evaluation of EU policies. “That would make it easier for private entities and governments to achieve their goals and for the intended recipients of renewable energy to be fully involved,” says Eco Matser, energy and development specialist at Hivos.
You can download the complete report from the documents box in the right sidebar.