Bringing together the organisations and activities needed to accelerate progress on clean energy access.

Partnerships are critical to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and facilitate novel solutions to sector wide challenges such as distribution, finance and advocacy, which are either uneconomical or impractical for individual stakeholders to resolve. These collaborations are key to the outcomes and impacts the TEA programme is delivering.

TEA partnerships address a range of research and innovation challenges in the energy access sector. For example, through TEA, UK aid provided founding support to the Global Distributors Collective (GDC) to establish an association of last mile distributors around the world that is dedicated to helping their members reach millions of underserved customers with life-changing products and develop the last mile distribution sector as a whole. GDC distributors sell household products that contribute to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as solar lights, improved cookstoves, water filters, nutrition products, agricultural inputs/machinery and off-grid appliances. The GDC’s membership has now increased to over 200 members in more than 50 countries reaching more than 33 million customers in remote or hard to reach locations.

TEA partnerships are also addressing financing challenges in the sector – for example, UK aid via TEA, in partnership with Virgin Unite, provided founding support to Energise Africa, a crowdfunding platform set up to enable the UK public to invest in solar energy in Africa. Up to March 2021, Energise Africa raised £18.5 million from the UK crowd to lend to companies who have improved energy access for 470,000 people. TEA partnerships are also helping build ventures and markets – for example, Shell Foundation and Faraday Institution support Nayo Tropical Technologies to help build the business and research different energy storage options for green mini-grids in Nigeria.

UK aid is also supporting the PowerUp! project led by GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry, to provide training, resources and a communication hub to 18 national renewable energy agencies across sub-Saharan Africa. This support helps build the capacity of associations to support country-led sustainable growth on the continent.

The stories profiled here share examples of the ways that TEA is continuing to enable the partnerships and collaboration needed to accelerate progress on delivering access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

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