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October 27, 2015

Obama endorses off-grid energy (finally – but only for Africa!)

White House Press Releases And Documents

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Joins with Public and Private Sector to Increase Access to Off-Grid Clean Energy and the Deployment of Innovative Technologies Globally

22 October 2015


President Obama is committed to reducing carbon pollution and ensuring that people everywhere can tap into clean sources of energy to power their homes and businesses.

That is why, today, the Administration is announcing new actions to help bring off-grid clean energy systems and energy efficient appliances to the approximate 1.3 billion people without energy access.

Along with other solutions, like grid extension and new energy generation supply investments, off-grid energy systems hold tremendous promise to speed the delivery of affordable modern energy services. Improving access to renewable energy solutions has direct positive effects on education and economic opportunities, while also reducing families’ exposure to pollution, providing clean water access, and empowering farmers and families by providing them with the technology they need to stay connected and learn.
Coming just a month before the Paris negotiations, these actions underscore our commitment to ensuring all countries have the opportunity to power economic growth based on clean, sustainable energy solutions.
To bring the promise of clean energy to more households, the United States, Benin, Bangladesh, and Kenya are taking the following actions:
*The Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing the launch of the next round of the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) Awards competition focused on identifying and promoting super-efficient, high quality off-grid fans and televisions.
*The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is announcing a new $75 million loan guarantee through the Power Africa program to scale-up off-grid energy investments across sub-Saharan Africa.
*The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is announcing more than $20 million in loans to promote solar energy in 90,000 households in Kenya and Nigeria
*The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is providing $46 million for off-grid electrification in Benin.
*The Governments of Benin, Bangladesh, and Kenya are taking steps to increase access to off-grid energy efficient products, which will be powered by clean energy, and develop standards to ensure the quality ofoff-grid appliances.
Nineteen companies and organizations also are announcing new independent commitments to take a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future. These commitments include:
*New funding totaling over $125 million to finance clean energy projects, such as the deployment of high efficiency solar equipment to reach millions of low-income customers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
*Advancing the deployment of over 170 million new off-grid, energy-efficient, standalone and scalable products.
In total, the commitments made today will:
*Provide access to off-grid clean energy products and services to more than 500 million people by 2020, changing people’s lives and livelihoods.
*Prevent the equivalent of over 350 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the products deployed by 2020, including significantly cutting black carbon emissions, equivalent to …

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