The UN Development Programme (UNDP) takes pride in presenting the “EnergyPlus Guidelines”, which are based on UNDP’s wide experience in the field of sustainable energy access. The ‘EnergyPlus approach’, developed by UNDP’s Bangkok Regional Hub for Asia-Pacific, focuses on the affordability of energy services and on improving productivity alongside more traditional energy interventions. Overall, the Guidelines focus on strengthening what have been identified as the seven key components of both energy and non-energy “value chains,” which together comprise a successful EnergyPlus programme. While sustainable energy for all is an ambitious goal, it is achievable, and these Guidelines show how to make progress towards this, such as establishing how to set a baseline for monitoring energy poverty. It helps build an integrated framework so that tracking of progress is linked to socially inclusive and gender-specific indicators that measure improved energy access and its productive uses. The Guidelines emphasize the use of public finance and policy to de-risk private investments for enhancing financial sustainability, and recommend a broader scope be taken in expanding energy access to support the improvement of education and health facilities, as well as to increase the productivity of agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises.
They further offer proven ways to stimulate productive energy uses, such as through innovative Community Enterprise Mapping. Ultimately, the focus of our work is to help empower the poor, particularly women, by improving their living standards and accelerating social and economic progress through the expansion of affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy. We hope that these Guidelines serve as a useful resource for practitioners in this field to achieve this goal, and that they provide a valuable contribution to the realisation of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
Most of the nearly 3 billion people worldwide who lack access to electricity or to improved cooking facilities live in the developing regions
of Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. But providing energy is not enough by itself to lift people from poverty: Equally important is going beyond basic energy needs to ensure the empowerment of the poor, particularly women, to use modern energy in ways that benefit them and their communities. The EnergyPlus approach promotes the productive use of energy: for generation of equitable employment and additional income; for meeting needs of existing and new enterprises; for community needs such as strengthened security and better access to education and health care,
including through electricity for street lighting, clinics and schools; and for lifestyle needs to improve living standards. In turn, the formula of EnergyPlus = Energy Access +Empowerment can be seen as contributing to overall sustainable human development and poverty reduction. These EnergyPlus Guidelines have been developed to assist policymakers and national/local government officials, development practitioners, civil society organizations, research and financial institutions, commercial energy enterprises and others. The Guidelines offer comprehensive advice on how stakeholders can collaborate in designing and implementing an EnergyPlus programme. Critically, the Guidelines focus on both energy and non-energy inputs to help generate development benefits, and highlight seven essential components, all designed to strengthen capacities for informed planning and decision making, drive change through leadership, and stimulate markets and investments. These components specifically focus on the interdependence
Monitoring energy poverty
Establishing enabling policies and institutional support
systems as well as effective stakeholder partnerships
Accessing public finance and markets
Ensuring energy resource availability and forecasting
demand for energy
Initiating productive energy uses for communication,
thermal applications, and mechanically-powered devices
Facilitating energy production and services, including
through access to energy-efficient end-use technology
Many countries already promote universal access to sustainable forms of energy, especially among the rural poor. It is the EnergyPlus approach embodied in these Guidelines that offers the greatest opportunity to achieve the future we want under the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).