NGOs, public and private sector exchange during ACEF kick off

The 2015 Asia Clean Energy Forum kicked off on Sunday in Manila with a Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Consultation Workshop, bringing together leaders from public sector, private sector and civil society organisations working on energy in the Asia-Pacific region.

The most impassioned intervention came from Harish Hande of SELCO-India, arguing that funders need to be much less risk averse for real innovation in energy access to happen – we can’t expect 90% of projects to succeed, and need to focus on new productive uses of energy technologies as much as developing new technologies.

The energy needs of women, and opportunities for engaging women in the energy value chain, were firmly on the agenda, particularly in the afternoon session of case studies looking at the energy-women-children-health nexus.

To paraphrase ENERGIA’s Soma Dutta, who spoke on a number of panels, it’s heartening to see a shift in viewing women as victims of energy poverty to seeing women as vital actors in driving forward energy solutions.

Representing Kopernik, ENERGIA’s women’s empowerment and advocacy program partner in Indonesia, I enjoyed the opportunity to share our experiences over the last few years empowering Indonesian women to become clean energy entrepreneurs. It was also great to hear and learn from the diverse perspectives of other participants, some of whom have been working on energy access issues for more than thirty years.

Follow @energia_org, @thekopernik and #ACEF2015 on twitter for the latest updates from the Asia Clean Energy Forum all this week.