SE4All Advisory Board’s Finance Committee Report on Scaling Up Finance for Sustainable Energy Investments

Energy has become the central theme in discussions on alleviating poverty, promoting economic development and improving quality of life of people. The ambitious goals that the international community is setting to achieve sustainable development and address climate change require creative collaborations and finding new and innovative solutions.

The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, a multi-stakeholder partnership, has encouraged governments, international organizations, private sector and civil society to take prompt actions to address these global issues and provided a unique platform for collaboration. With its three interlinked objectives – ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix, all by 2030 – it provides a road map for a better future in which progresses in other areas from health and education to job creation and gender equality are promoted by affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. However, none of this would be possible without scaling up investments in sustainable energy. Most recent estimates show that annual investments need to be increased by an additional US$650 billion over its current levels of US$350 billion.

SE4All’s Advisory Board had set up four committees- one each for Access, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, and Finance. We are pleased to submit the Finance Committee Report. We examined opportunities for public and private investment that could help achieve these three SE4All goal of reliable, affordable, sustainable modern energy for all expected to be enshrined in the potential post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This Report brings together innovative ideas on scaling up finance for sustainable energy investments and makes concrete recommendations based on in-depth analysis and the latest research outcome of SE4All’s partner organizations. Annual investments of about $1 trillion are needed from both public and private sectors to reach the objectives of SE4All. To attract more private sector investment, this Report identifies four broad investment themes which have a potential of raising additional annual financing of $120 billion until 2020 for scaling up finance for sustainable energy both in developed economies and emerging markets. Building upon the success, the pace and scale of financing could be ramped up.

This document is organized into four sections. The first section reviews the size of the financing challenge and segmenting of the market opportunity in both developing and developed economies. The second section provides an overview of some of the prerequisites to achieve a significant increase in sustainable energy infrastructure investment and on increasing the deal flow in emerging markets. The third section reviews various innovative approaches that are being developed to attract more private sector investment, with a particular focus on leveraging public sector funds and assets. In the last section, the Report provides key recommendations focusing on specific actions for each type of stakeholders over the short and long term to achieve the Sustainable Energy for All goal.

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Sustainable Energy for All