Digital technologies and services will prove critical to the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), which aims to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for all by 2030. The new Energy Catalyst report titled How are digital technologies impacting energy access markets? provides an up-to-date analysis of the digital landscape for energy access innovators.
The report introduces and discusses the major enabling digital technologies that are impacting the energy access sector, providing a selection of the most innovative applications of these technologies and the key digital trends in the sector, which in turn point to its future direction.
Five trends are identified and examined:
- How distributed renewable energy is filling the gaps in the grid
- How improved data collection methodologies and technologies have increased capacity for energy access planning
- How the right regulatory and policy frameworks are crucial to plans for reaching universal energy access
- How to reach under-the-grid customers who may appear connected to electricity, but in fact have either no power at all, or unreliable, inconsistent, or low-quality power
- How to better provide energy access for institutions and productive users to ramp up demand.
The report also looks at how the use of mobile money is facilitating customer energy access. Accompanying this report are two pieces of research carried out by Energy Catalyst consortium partners New Energy Nexus and Intellecap, investigating the prevalent payment methods (digital or otherwise) in energy access in key Asian economies.