10Power Participates in Accelerating Access to Clean Energy, Hosted by the U.S. Department of State

Over 1 billion people globally lack access to electricity and another billion lack access to reliable

energy. 87% of those without electricity access live in rural areas. Providing access to energy

results in a variety of benefits across the education, health, social, and economic sectors. It

enables student to study at night, improving grades and graduation rates. Access also

facilitates irrigation, increasing production and food security. Energy access also can increase

household income over 50%, spurring economic growth and opportunities, as well as the

creation of new markets.

Advances in clean energy technology not only better enable those without electricity to gain

access but also enable them to leapfrog traditional methods of power generation and

distribution. A number of new start-up companies have developed successful business models

to bring clean energy to off-grid populations. However, these efforts alone are not enough to

meet the drastically rising demand for electricity across the developing world, its increasing

importance to economic prosperity, and the urgent imperative to meet the objectives of the Paris

Agreement which includes significantly reducing global carbon emissions.

Increases in technological innovation are needed across the sector, ranging from battery

storage and energy efficient appliances to expanding business models beyond solar home

systems to mini-grids and community-wide solutions. Additionally, we must find ways to

empower and enable the growth of energy entrepreneurs across the globe, eliminate barriers for

entry of new enterprises, and scale solutions that are working.

The Accelerating Access to Clean Energy Around the World workshop will convene key

stakeholders from across Silicon Valley — including tech companies, investors, foundations,

NGOs, government, and academia — to develop new technological approaches to tackling this

challenge. Building on earlier events, this workshop will move beyond identifying the barriers to

accelerating access by generating ambitious and impactful proposals to overcome barriers to

entry and scale. We will bring together not just experts in renewable energy but also those on

the cutting-edge of intersecting technology trends, such as expanding internet access, mobile

payments and platforms, cloud storage, and data analytics. The workshop also aims to identify

champions to develop solutions to advance these new ideas and specific mechanisms.

The workshop will be interactive and focus on roll-up-your-sleeves problem-solving. Long-time

energy specialists will work side-by-side with innovators from other sectors who can bring new

perspectives to the challenge. Every attendee will be a participant.

This event is part of the State Department’s recently-launched Innovation Forum and Silicon

Valley presence, with a mission to build bridges between policymakers and innovators to tackle

the most pressing global challenges.