In 2017, when London-based energy adviser, Michael Liebreich found out that three babies died at the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the government hospital in the city of Bo, Sierra Leone, they promptly decided to act. The babies died due to a power cut, which stopped their oxygen supply. Liebreich set up Project Bo to provide a solar electricity to supply uninterrupted power to the oxygen devices at the hospital.
The campaign reportedly raised around three-quarters of the £100,000 ($135,830) that is required to install a 20kW solar and storage system that would provide uninterrupted power supply to the ward. Liebreich urged more efforts at financing the campaign. Meanwhile, Shine, an investment campaign launched officially at the Portugal forum aimed to work towards this. And, around 35 financial, faith, and philanthropic organisations like the IKEA Foundation would incite new money to enhance the energy access in some of the poorest communities in the world. In the context, the U.N. data showed that 1 billion people worldwide had no electric power, and around 3 billion still cooked with polluting fuels. While the energy sector received around $2 trillion every year, only $13 billion of that prioritised those who lived without electricity.
Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of Wallace Global Fund, one of the founding partners in the campaign aimed to mobilise $100 million in 2018 to further getting power to the world’s poorest people. Meanwhile, governments like Mexico and Rwanda have reportedly set up funds dedicated to boosting investment in renewables and getting electricity to those with no electricity.
It is reported that despite the rise in investor interest, many experts in Lisbon believed that the commercials would not reach the marginalised communities soon. And, researchers highlighted the importance of helping the local people develop the business that would spur demand for the power generated by micro-grids using renewable energy sources. And, in this context, it was stated that all kinds of new capital would be required to meet the world’s energy access targets.