Notes on Sustainable Energy For All Forum

by George A. Garland, DBA, Director, UNA Energy Project

The Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum ( had 2500 registrants for meetings in New York on four days in May 2015. Simultaneous tracks included Financing Sustainable Energy for All, Driving Country Action, Universal Energy Access, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Global Policy Agenda, and Growing the Movement. SE4ALL commits the global community to provide access to all, double energy efficiency, and double the share of energy coming from renewables by 2030.

            Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary General , Sustainable energy for All, noted that energy access had been extended to an additional 200 million people leaving 1.1 billion yet to be served. Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director, Global Practice on Energy and Extractive Industries, World Bank, and John Podesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and Counselor to President Barack Obama, USA both called for integration of the Sustainable Development Goals, which now include energy targets, with Sustainable Energy For All.

The Sustainable Development Goals will be presented to the September 2015 General Assembly for adoption. In July 2015, Financing for Development will meet in Addis Ababa to address funding for the Sustainable Development Goals and commitments to address climate change from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Paris in December 2015. Citing needed investment at over a trillion dollars per year, Anita George estimated needed funding from public private partnerships at $46 billion per year to achieve universal access to energy, $360 billion per year to double the renewable energy share, and $390 billion per year to double energy efficiency by 2030. She noted that, without the $46 billion in additional investments for universal energy access, by 2030 the number without access to electricity will increase above 1.1 billion.

Financing Sustainable Energy for All

            Payback period for many projects less than two years. Larger buildings in New York City (over 50,000 square feet) have already taken steps. NYC offering technical assistance to smaller buildings to facilitate action. Many small projects may be aggregated to make them attractive to financial institutions. Branding similar efficiency actions may help to make energy efficiency loans as easy as car loans. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development aggregates by industrial sector (eg steel industry). Losses in energy transmission a financing target. Inter-American Development Bank does workshops to familiarize private sector engineers and chief financial officers with energy efficiency opportunities. World Bank sets up energy efficiency revolving funds; uses utilities as marketing intermediaries; partial credit guarantees; ESCO’s.

Universal Energy Access

            High impact on lives of women and children with investments in clean cooking as about 4 million deaths per year from 3 billion using dirty stoves—more deaths than from HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Hospital electricity to assist in births and cold chain for drugs needing refrigeration also high impact. Solar for African schools (half no electricity) and pumping water also high impact.

Renewable Energy

            Cost of solar and wind down. Renewables use much less water

Global Energy Policy

            Emphasis on bankable projects, private sector initiative. . IMF report on subsidies noted.

Growing the Movement

            High Impact Opportunities and High Impact Implementation projects were identified for Clean Energy Mini-Grids, the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, and Bioenergy.

Ending routine gas flaring a global priority. Involving youth a priority.


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