The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which is a development arm of the US federal government, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UK-based Shell Foundation to supply five million low-income people in Asia and Africa with affordable green energy by 2025.
Shell Foundation was founded by oil and lubricant company Royal Dutch Shell as a global initiative for social investment and sustainable development.
Some 2.8 billion people in the world only have unreliable access to electricity, while about 800 million people have no access at all. Under the MoU, the two organisations committed to improving their support for developing social enterprises in order to grow the availability of renewable energy in off-grid areas where people often subsist on daily incomes of $2 to $10. This should promote these people’s wellbeing in terms of health, income and education.
The CEO of Shell Foundation, Sam Parker, said about the development:
“Innovative DRE enterprises are already providing more affordable, more reliable energy to tens of millions of people who cannot access the grid, mostly in ways that are far more cost-effective and quicker to deploy, yet they are unable to access significant growth investment.”
Parker added that DFC had been especially proactive in addressing this issue, and by combining both organisations’ respective assets, as well as that of their other partners, they hope to narrow the distinction between commercial and social investors and make considerable funds available. By 2030, he said, this will help take hundreds of millions of people out of energy poverty.