The Rockefeller Foundation will invest $1 billion over the next three years to boost a green pandemic recovery, including construction of 10,000 minigrids in developing countries.
The foundation’s announcement says it will collaborate with global investors, governments and international organizations to drive public-private development of renewable energy projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Foundation funds will provide better access to Covid-19 tests and vaccines, data to fight the pandemic and the use of science-based tools. It will also strengthen public health systems to limit further outbreaks.
According to Ashvin Dayal, senior vice-president, power and climate initiative for the foundation, the effort will build 10,000 minigrids, provide clean energy to 5 million households and create 10,000 green jobs.
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Deepen understanding of minigrids
The result will bring reliable power to more than 25 million people. It will support 100,000 rural enterprises and provide irrigation to 400,000 farmers. Dayal also notes that the project will deepen technical knowledge of minigrids and their impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.
The foundation’s mission remains unchanged since 1913 — to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. This calling includes an effort to “dramatically accelerate the pace of electrification by leveraging the full potential that decentralized renewable energy offers to the world’s poorest populations.”
No going back to pre-Covid past
The end of “energy poverty” is one of the foundation’s significant commitments. It’s website states that “bringing reliable, affordable power to hundreds of millions of people in underserved, low-income communities is the single best way to fight worldwide poverty.” It promotes efforts to “connect the unconnected, grow energy consumption and build the resilient, low-carbon energy system of the future — because power builds livelihoods, grows income, improves health outcomes, and empowers communities.”
“There’s no going back to the past, to before-Covid. We need to reimagine the future we want. To meet this moment, we must leverage all our resources and relationships to build an equitable, sustainable future, where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential and to avoid climate disaster,” said Rajiv Shah, president of Rockefeller Foundation.
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