‘The world is in desperate need of innovative solutions to create a new, sustainable energy future.’ We couldn’t agree more. Kopernik is proud to support this declaration from the Zayed Future Energy Prize, as the 2016 winner in the non-profit category. We believe that the development sector must experiment with new innovations and ideas that have the potential for widespread impact, in place of repeating inefficient practices. But more than this, these ideas must take clean energy into consideration for even greater success and sustainability.
A year on, from the advent of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, awareness of the necessity of finding sustainable solutions for developing nations is now widely understood at a global level. Some incredible work has progressed in this sphere across the Asia-Pacific, with many regarding this region as a worldwide leader in bringing clean-energy solutions to the forefront in emerging and developing markets. Additionally, increasing collaboration between development, government and private sectors is helping to shift attitudes for much-needed policy reform surrounding this issue in many countries.
Since winning the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize, Kopernik’s ability to respond to the sustainability call has dramatically elevated. We have continued to refine the delivery of our clean energy technology distribution programmes, advocate for the role of women in the clean energy supply chain throughout Asia and grow vital partnerships with both private and public sector actors to find new and efficient solutions for common issues in last-mile communities. We believe that awards, such as this, play an important role in further supporting a global environment where innovative and sustainable initiatives for the development sector can prosper.
The focus of the prize highlights an important issue. Globally, there is still a lack of access to energy for a significant number of people, let alone clean energy. Despite Indonesia’s steady economic growth leading to its current position as the strongest economy in Southeast Asia, the reported number of people living without electricity at all range from 10 to 60 million. While there are many more that still struggle with an inconsistent electricity supply, increasing the reliance on less efficient, and often harmful, energy sources. Add to this the fact that almost 25 million people continue to use unhealthy and fuel-hungry three-stone fires for cooking and the situation becomes significantly worst.