New Partnership: Ashden

Date: 22/03/2023

NextEnergy Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership with Ashden to promote clean energy solutions in humanitarian settings. This is a new area of intervention for the Foundation. Ashden is best known for its Ashden Awards which it has run for over two decades to identify enterprises and organisations at the cutting edge of climate innovation and energy access.

Over 102m people are now forcibly displaced globally – 94% of displaced people in camps do not have access to electricity, and 81% lack energy for clean cooking. There is an urgent need for investment in clean energy solutions developed and led by displaced people themselves to scale energy access in humanitarian settings and achieve UN SDG 7: access to modern, clean, affordable energy for all by 2030.

Ashden has launched the Power to Refugees and Displaced People programme to create a thriving environment for refugee-led energy solutions. The programme has three Aims: (1) catalyse solutions by discovering and seeding new enterprises; (2) grow the impact by scaling established solutions; and, (3) shift policy through strategic communications and advocacy. More details about each of these Aims can be found on the project page.

To catalyse solutions and seed new enterprises (Aim 1), NextEnergy Foundation is providing the 2023 Energising Refugees and Displaced People Award winner with funds to invest in developing or scaling its solution. Abid Kazim, one of NEF’s Trustees, is sitting on the judging panels and will have a vote to determine this year’s winner. The two judging meeting will take place on 17th May and 19th July, and the winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony in November.

To grow the impact of established solutions (Aim 2), the Foundation is providing funds to two growth-stage businesses. One of the businesses is the winner of the 2022 Energising Refugees and Displaced People Award, Kakuma Ventures. Kakuma Ventures brings solar-powered internet access to residents in one of the world’s largest refugee camps. More information about the enterprise and its impacts to date can be found here. In addition, NEF’s donation will facilitate the participation of these two innovators at high-profile international gatherings (e.g., COP28) to drive the energy access agenda.