The "Universal Access to Energy" Table -so called MAUE- of which the acciona.org Foundation is a partner held the conference "Working together for the universal access to energy" on February 24th 2020 at Madrid (Spain). This event was developed with the aim of demanding more ambition to allow guarantee the access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all in 2030, as the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) states.
Representatives and experts from the entities forming the MAUE, as well as invitees from the public, private and civil society sectors, carried out talks and participated in panels on initiatives and aspects related to the universal access to energy, such as the 2030 Agenda, the European Green Deal, its condition of human right, the development of supply integrated models or the role of the international development. The acciona.org Foundation participated in the opening of the conference and two panels of experts.
In the "Integrated electricity delivery models" panel, Jose Gabriel Martin, director at acciona.org Foundation, explained that the integrated models must include home, community and productive solutions, as well as the most adequate type of electrification for every context -grid extension, micro-grid or isolated system- and that the challenge is how to integrate different management models and who can be the responsible; the answer could be a partnership -one of the main proposals of the 2030 Agenda- with an entity being responsible of the service supported on other entities of proximity that are able of providing service with non-conventional business models. He added that the experience of acciona.org on the field with extremely poor isolated rural communities in Latin America -where the demand of productive solutions is low and the houses are very dispersed- shows the home models by its own meets their electrification needs. He also highlighted the importance of the social management in these contexts: the communitary work is essential to the population's appropriation of the solution offered.
In addition, in the "The role of the international development entities in the universal access to energy", Julio Eisman, adviser at acciona.org Foundation, presented the view agreed by the MAUE about the role to be played by the international development entities. He started by presenting the activity of the MAUE within the framework given by the 2030 Agenda, which especifically includes the access to energy as one of its development goals. Then, he expounded that favourable international context to work for the universal access to energy and that Spain has a good positioned sector with knowledge and experience to be applied in complex environment. He emphasized that the international development working in access to energy shall prioritize the isolated rural communities, where the extension of the grid will never reach, searching for synergies between differents organizations and focusing on the service with the aim of having impact in the long term. He added it must look for strenghtening of the field with regulation, funding, subsidies... and supporting the technological and managerial innovations by promoting multi-stakeholder solutions and collaborative platforms with the aim of leaving no one behind. Finally, he talked about the Spanish Cooperation and the need of its having more agile procedures in order not to delay the actions and promoting partnerships with different actors making those actions easier.
In summary, this conference presented the current situation in the way of achieving the universal access to energy, by evaluating that situation, identifying challenges and proposing solutions to "leaving no one behind". The majority of countries commited to the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030, where the SDG7 states "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". However, there are estimates of about 1 billion people without access to electricity and 2.5 billion using fossil fuels and unreliable means for cooking; with 10 years to meet the goal, increasing efforts is necessary.