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Clean Energy Ministerial 6 (CEM6) 

27–28 May 2015, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

Finance for Energy Access


Over 1 billion people globally lack access to electricity. Providing clean and affordable energy services to these unelectrified populations will be a critical driver for poverty reduction, job creation, and improved health and social outcomes. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), achieving universal energy access targets within the next two decades will require an unprecedented level of public and private sector investment, with over 60 percent of these investments directed towards distributed generation solutions such as mini-grids and off-grid systems. It will also involve a dramatic increase in new energy service providers, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to better reach rural and base of the pyramid consumers that account for majority of the unserved populations. Delivery of the required investment is challenging because the scale of these efforts is too small, the investment returns are too low, and the perceived risks too high for traditional banks and investors.  This roundtable will bring together practitioners and policymakers to identify the most promising strategies to overcome these constraints and unlock sustainable sources of private investment for energy access.

The objective of the roundtable is to bring together practitioners, financiers, and policymakers to identify the most promising strategies to unlock sustainable private capital for the small-scale, distributed energy access solutions that are central to achieving universal energy access targets.

View the pre-read presentation

Discussion Topics

  • How can existing public and private sources of capital and financing instruments be better operationalized in the energy access context?
  • What in your experience has worked and why? What hasn’t worked and why?
  • Of the many emerging and innovative financing mechanisms, such as climate finance, green bonds, and crowdfunding, which ones are most promising for energy access?
  • How can we effectively tap into these potential sources of capital for energy access?
  • What are the most important and transformational strategies required to unlock sustainable private investment for energy access?
  • What are the top roles for public and private sector actors in realizing this goal?