The energy access issue has been given increased international attention over the past years, and is today on the agenda of many of the leading international institutions. At the international, national, regional and local levels an increasing number of public institutions, private companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working on the delivery of energy services and solutions to achieve universal access to modern energy.

Our Database section contains a rich list of projects, which provide examples of the many ways in which Access to Energy can be achieved.

Below you find a selection of international initiatives and organisations. Any list reflects a choice that can be criticized. We shall appreciate your comments. If you wish to suggest a new significant initiative for this section, please let us know!

Worldwide initiatives on energy access


Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)

It is a partnership between governments, the private sector, and civil society aiming to promote universal access by brokering partnerships, unlock finance, marshal evidence, benchmark progress.

Its three objectives to be achieved by 2030:

- ensure universal access to modern energy services,

- double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency,

- double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

reinforce each other, and achieving them together will maximize development benefits and help stabilize climate change over the long run.


The Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal number 7 on affordable and clean energy for all, are the constituents of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Implementation is monitored by a High-level Political Forum (HLPF).


The UN offices such as the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) are supported by a worldwide voluntary network, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), made of universities, research institutes, civil society organizations, and other knowledge centres, and by its teaching branch, the SDG Academy.


The UN Refugees Agency UNHCR has adopted a Global Strategy for Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE):
and is engaged in a public-private initiative:


Lighting Global: a platform supporting sustainable growth of the international off-grid lighting market as a means of increasing energy access to people not connected to grid electricity.;;


The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP): a global, multidonor technical assistance trust fund administered by the World Bank and cosponsored by 13 official bilateral donors, runs programs on energy access.


The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Project: dedicated to Bangladesh.


The ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) has an Energy for All initiative.


The AFRICA RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVE (AREI) is an expression of the African Union and of African Governments with the objective of accelerating and scaling up the harnessing of the continent renewable energy potential; it helps African countries leapfrog to renewable energy systems and ensure universal access to energy.


Initiative in Africa are also supported by the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (AFDB).



IEA, an organisation of 29 industrialised countries, is today at the heart of the worldwide dialogue on energy. Its annual “World Energy Outlook”, representing a global point of reference on energy issues, has constantly called for attention to the themes of modern energy for all and the nexus between water and energy.

IEA provides key energy statistics.



IRENA, an intergovernmental organisation of 177 countries engaged in the transition to a sustainable energy future, provides analysis and support to energy access projects.



The EU Commission, General Directorate ( runs various initiatives among which a financing mechanism to support market development and private sector initiatives (

the EU Energy Initiative - Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) of the European Commission (EC) and several EU member states, contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular on energy in Africa, Latin America and Asia

Most European governments participate in, and often directly run, programs for access to energy. Examples of large and active institutions and of interesting energy access initiatives:

Germany: runs numerous programs on access to energy, including assistance to consumers as in: and in:

UK: runs specific programs such as, and



Spain: participates in projects such as:

Italy: government operations: A new agency has been created:



Power Africa. Launched in 2013 and run by US AID, it works in partnership to connect the African population to the electricity grid, and provide access to those who live beyond it.

The Global Lighting  (Global LEAP) is one of the initiatives taken by the Clean Energy Ministerial, a US Government-led framework of 25 governments working with private sector stakeholders.


Government programs on their own territory

Brazil: Luz para Todos


South Africa: South African Electrification Programme

Bangladesh: the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), a non-bank Financial Institution set up by the Bangladesh Government, participated by private sector and international institutions, dedicated to solar home systems

Large programs for diffusion of improved cookstoves have been undertaken in 

China: National Improved Stoves Program )

India: National Biomass Cook-Stoves Initiative



The Netherlands: SNV. Founded in 1965 with a strong impulse by the Dutch Government, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is now run by a global team with international advisors and extensive local presence, acting to reduce poverty and create effective solutions with local impact.

US: the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. A public-private partnership, hosted by the UN Foundation, to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. It seeks to mobilize high-level national and donor commitments toward fostering the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020.

Energising Development (EnDev) financed by the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden, to support decentralised solutions for sustainable access to modern energy services.

Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) launched by Indian The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to bring light and socio-economic development to rural people in India, then Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Myanmar.


Energia is an international network on gender and sustainable energy.


the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE): a business association representing the decentralised clean energy sector, with members along the whole value chain to promote off-grid solutions, to act as a solution provider.

The OPEC Fund for international development (OFID) together with the World Petroleum Council (WPC) launched an “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP)” for oil and gas companies to undertake actions focused on energy access, identify corporate social responsibility opportunities in host countries, and integrate energy access in policies and projects at country level.

the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA)
provides market insights and quality assurance for modern, off-grid lighting systems

Peru: Luz en Casa
promoted by Acciona: an innovative business model