27 January 2023 at 9:00 am EST

IEEE Global Energy Access Forum and Empower a Billion Lives II (EBL – II) 


Virtual Workshop IEEE Global Energy Access Forum 

Accelerating Deployment of Scalable and Sustainable Productive Use Energy Access Solutions

(participation in workshop for Global Energy Access Forum members)


January 27, 2023 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST

organized by

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Power Electronics Society (IEEE PELS)


Lack of access to energy is a key inhibitor of economic growth, particularly for almost 1 billion people with no access to electricity and over 2 billion people with poor and unreliable energy access. Decentralized approaches, such as solar home systems and microgrids have emerged in response to the shortcomings of centralized grid extension, sparked private sector innovation and are increasingly being integrated in national electrification plans. However, besides the challenges that these solutions face in scaling towards universal energy access, the past decade has shown that energy access can not be seen as a silver bullet but viewed through the broader cross-sectoral lens including food security, access to water, health, and economic and institutional development. Enabling productive use of energy is key to poverty alleviation, job creation and economic development, food security and resilience.  

IEEE is the world’s largest technical volunteer organization (with 450,000 members) with global reach and technology leadership across most key areas impacting energy access. IEEE Empower a Billion Lives is a global competition organized by the IEEE Power Electronics Society aimed at fostering innovation to develop scalable, regionally relevant, holistic solutions to electricity access that leverage 21st-century technologies with exponentially declining prices. The first round of EBL, EBL-I (see box) attracted 450 teams from 70 countries and the second round, EBL-II, is currently running. Teams have to show viable technology solutions, scalable business models, social impact and had to demonstrate their solutions in real-world field trials. Building on the success of EBL-I, IEEE PELS has formed Global Energy Access Forum, a multi-stakeholder forum for facilitating dialogue and sharing information on needs defined by the energy access community, new capabilities enabled by fast-moving technologies, business and financing models, and use-cases — which together can accelerate the access to energy and its utilization at scale. 


As part of the ongoing effort to facilitate a dialogue among energy access stakeholders, IEEE Global Energy Access Forum (GAEF) is organizing a webinar on January 27, 2023. The theme of the workshop is productive energy use in the context of energy access, and the objective is to dig deeper into the challenges towards increasing adoption of productive energy use solutions and technological and business model innovation opportunities to address these challenges.

The webinar will be organized on the platform. The webinar will be accessible for all GAEF members and participants will also have a chance to pose questions through a chatline and a moderator.



Welcome and Stage-Setting

9:10 - 9:20

Agri-food processing productive energy use solutions (access to finance challenges, business model innovations, technological innovation opportunities)


What are pathways towards increasing adoption? What are opportunities for business models of decentralized EA solutions providers (e.g. minigrids)? 


9:20 - 9:30

E-cooking (technological innovation opportunities, grid vs. off-grid e-cooking, consumer behavior challenges)


What tech innovation is needed to increase feasibility of e-cooking with off-grid EA solutions? What are the challenges and opportunities for utilities? 


9:30 - 9:40

E-mobility (technological innovation, business models opportunities, enabling policies)


What tech innovation is needed to increase adoption? How to deal with the challenges imposed on the electricity provision? Is second-life mobility viable?...


9:40 - 10:20

Panel discussion and Q&A

10:20 - 10:30

Wrap-up and closing

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