ETC aims to enhance people’s access to energy in rural and peri-urban areas. We focus on business development support, gender mainstreaming and strengthening technical capacity and skills. Our partners are numerous: government organizations, NGOs, community based organisations, local entrepreneurs, international companies, financial institutions, researchers, multilateral organizations and donor agencies. Part of our approach is to bring these stakeholders together to promote a shared responsibility for energy access.
Worldwide, nearly 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity. In some countries, traditional biomass (wood, dung, crop residues) accounts for as much as 90% of the total energy consumption. This reality hampers the development of poor societies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The vast majority of people without access to modern energy live in rural areas. Government policies rarely reach them and their links to energy markets are few, fragile and mostly informal. The rural poor have learned to devise their own energy solutions. There is a need to listen to them and understand their energy market context in order to identify priorities for energy access programmes and projects.
Our ambitions and goals
ETC aims to enhance people’s access to energy. We bring modern energy products to the rural poor in developing countries. Together with our network of local partners we facilitate up-scaling processes of energy products in the rural energy sector and local energy markets by business development support. We also aim to enhance gender equality and women’s empowerment by promoting gender mainstreaming in the rural energy sector. We believe this will contribute to tangible positive changes in the lives of women and men. Last but not least, we aim to strengthen the capacity of professionals and organizations that offer technical and vocational education and training in the energy sector. Combining these different interventions leads to a strong and sustainable market, supplying energy to the poor.
Our team does not believe that the energy problems of the poor can be resolved with a mere technological breakthrough or through large-scale financial support. Instead, we start by better understanding the real energy needs of the poor and their local energy markets of shopkeepers, technicians, promoters and (micro) financers. Based on the identification of the local market bottlenecks, we design and support the implementation of sustainable project models. We always work together with local stakeholders and aim to design strategies that can be replicated in other energy- poor communities.
In order to enhance gender equality in energy access, we actively promote the participation of women at all levels in the energy sector, support and encourage their professional development. We increase awareness and promote learning and build individual and organizational capacity on how to implement gender mainstreaming strategies in energy policies and programmes.
We also strengthen technical capacities in the energy sector by providing needs-based and tailor-made training and consultancy services for technical schools, vocational training institutes, governmental and non-governmental organizations and small-scale enterprises. Understanding local needs and priorities is an important starting point for the development and implementation of capacity building projects that fit the local context. The ETC team cooperates with a large network of specialized technical training experts and institutes, based in the South and the North.