We are living in times of great economic and social opportunity. Emerging technological, social and business innovations mean that it is now possible for more than 1 billion people to, for the first time, gain access to the modern electricity services that will radically transform their well-being.
Establishing universal electricity access creates practical opportunities for quality education, new business models, better health outcomes, clean water and support for agriculture. Clean renewable energy technologies will form the backbone of an energy transition that will mitigate the effects of climate change.
This opportunity has arisen because new and emerging technologies are ushering in a revolution in energy access in the developing world. It is now possible to deliver modern electricity services to remote regions via off-grid electricity and micro-grids powered by renewable energy sources. Low cost solar power, high-efficiency appliances that can connect to a simple and cheap modular micro-grid, data collection through mobile communication networks and mobile-based micro-payment channels are examples of innovations that offer a chance for genuine and lasting change.
To address this opportunity, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) has developed the OpenAccess Energy Blueprint to achieving universal electricity access. This document is the result of multinational, multidisciplinary and mulitgenerational collaboration at WGSI's OpenAccess Energy Advisory Workshop (October 18-20, 2015), Summit (April 24-27, 2016) and further engagement with energy sector researchers, leaders and advisors.