Microfinance and matchmaking to boost small-scale renewable energy in rural areas - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
7 December 2022

Beirut time

Expert Group Meeting

Microfinance and matchmaking to boost small-scale renewable energy in rural areas

Event flyer, showing names name and pictures of the speakers
  • Online

Small-scale renewable energy can positively transform small rural communities, lift millions out of energy poverty by creating jobs, and build resilience to climate change. Yet, developing countries are often confronted with undeveloped and fragmented markets, multifaceted barriers and higher levels of risks. Therefore, mobilizing finance is pertinent and equally as important as the need to match lenders with developers and bankable projects.

In this context, and within the framework of the International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development, ESCWA is organizing an expert group meeting to identify business models that help to overcome the barriers preventing the productive use of small-scale renewable energy in the Arab region.


Outcome document

  • Generating demand for electricity through productive use of equipment/activities enhances the business case for lenders and project developers
  • Women’s access to finance is particularly limited, and while innovative solutions do exist, they need to be combined with the right business models and target the right end-users
  • Engaging with communities from the outset is necessary to identify appropriate “productive use equipment” in line with the needs of cooperatives and end-users
  • Working with microfinance institutions helps developers finance different components of an integrated approach to small-scale renewable energy for productive use
  • Partnering with NGOs is pivotal to carry out training to build and enhance capacities in operating and sustaining equipment
  • Designing clearly defined risk-sharing contracts will ensure that no single party would shoulder the entire burden
  • SDG 17 and partnerships are essential for the successful delivery of any initiative in relation to developing matchmaking platforms, financing instruments and for capacity building
  • Matchmaking platforms that focus on middle- to small- scale players are needed, especially those mitigating for data gaps on demographics
  • Capacity building is needed across the board, not only to end users but also to microfinance institutions to develop solutions to improve the business case
  • Maximizing local benefits as much as possible by prioritizing national partners in tenders and contracts

Making decentralised renewable energy viable in the rural context by electrifying productive usages: Demand should be ramped up through productive use activities to improve business cases, therefore partnering with micro finance institutions will fill the gap in between to ensure that end-users have access to productive use equipment

Small-scale renewable energy solutions and inclusive finance for marginalized groups: There are several supply and demand side barriers, including limited access to information and unfavorable policy environments, but opportunities also exist in the form of readily available blended finance facilities and a swathe of early adopters

Community engagement - gender equality and social inclusion: Community engagement is necessary and most effective if people are categorized into like minded groups where they are more comfortable to share ideas and concerns

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