Open Access Energy Summit
The 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.
The OpenAccess Energy Blueprint features:
- insight into proactive governance, creating a fair marketplace, empowering people, and effective entrepreneurship for energy access;
- a feature section on energy access challenges in Canada’s remote Indigenous communities;
- Solutions Spotlights featuring innovative technologies, business and finance models;
- a commitment to establishing and nurturing partnerships on the road to establishing energy access.
1. Enable – Establish national energy plans, and a policy and regulatory environment conducive to the creation of off-grid electricity services;
2. Align – Facilitate creative alliances between those seeking to provide electricity services and those who can finance the projects;
3. Empower – Build the human capacity to allow the sector to thrive – especially drawing on the strength of women and community members to deliver solutions at the ‘last mile’ through education, training and networking;
4. Incubate – Create financially sustainable platforms to help energy entrepreneurs succeed in creating sustainable energy businesses that can serve even the most difficult and impoverished markets.
Four steps are required to establish this as an area of national priority:
1. Commit to a step change in investment Canada’s federal government should increase its overall funding commitments for energy in remote communities from the tens of millions to the billions in the immediate future. This funding should be seen as a priority area for ongoing green infrastructure spending programs.
2. Recognize Indigenous leadership and support capacity building In order to ensure long-term economic and social benefits, Indigenous clean energy leadership must be recognized and supported through capacity building programs.
3. Create a single, intergovernmental point of contact A single point of contact within government – whose responsibility is to ensure those initiating and managing energy projects can navigate regulations, funding and reporting at the federal and provincial/territorial level and across relevant departments – is essential.
4. Connect people, technologies and information Knowledge sharing between communities and innovative institutions is critical to success.Private and public sectors should be encouraged to utilize up-to-date information and innovative technologies to seek new arrangements for energy projects in remote communities that are financially sustainable over the long term.