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The scope of the energy-access challenge is immense. The new 2017 Global Tracking Framework report, co-led by the IEA and World Bank, shows that while hundreds of millions of people gained access to clean cooking, electricity and renewable energy between 2012 and 2014, more than 1 billion people — one of every seven people on the planet — still live without access to power.
The world is not on track to meeting the 2030 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include universal access to modern energy services, doubling energy-efficiency improvements and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates off-grid solutions, such as microgrids, will supply 50 percent to 60 percent of the new generation needed to achieve the universal electricity access goal by 2030.
On the first day of the SEforALL Forum, European utility Enel signed an agreement to launch the SEforALL Electrification Accelerator, as well as committing to support SEforALL and the Secretary General of the United Nations in meeting seven SDGs related to energy access. Enel agreed to offer its expertise in crafting a development plan for electrification through the digitalization of mini networks, mini-grids and electric mobility.
While expanding energy access provides significant social, economic and health benefits for affected communities, it also represents a meaningful business opportunity. That’s not only true for the companies angling build clean energy projects, but also for technology providers looking sell products and services in new markets.
“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world, and we’re exploring different ways to engage with partners to support energy-efficient systems that drive sustainable connectivity — including our support of the Microgrid Investment Accelerator to help spur investment in affordable and clean distributed generation,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in an email. “Ultimately, we anticipate these types of partnerships will assist in broadening access to our connectivity efforts.”
Improving access to modern electricity systems could open up a multibillion-dollar market for appliances and for social networks.  Source:  https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/facebook-microsoft-mobilize-50-million-for-renewable-energy-microgrids