MSL, RIT Team for Global Energy Access Workshop in Rwanda

MSL has partnered with the Rochester Institute of Technology to convene an Energy Access Innovation Workshop in August of 2022, to be held in conjunction with the IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The workshop is designed to accelerate applied innovation in the energy access and equity domain, and to lay the foundation for a Global Energy Access Lab (GEAL) to meet the challenge of affordable, equitable, and clean energy access for 2 billion underserved people worldwide.The workshop will catalyze this action by convening leading innovators and practitioners from across geographical regions in a structured, facilitated format, to foster synergies and catalyze cross-pollination. In particular, this event will seek to position innovators in Africa and Asia as full peers with their industrialized counterparts, and to enable knowledge transfer in all directions.

The immersive two-day workshop will also bring together select thought and practice leaders from all sectors to share and create novel ideas that will accelerate energy access and transitions, spanning technology, policy, finance, consumer behavior, and workforce challenges. The event, which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through the e-GUIDE initiative, is intended to produce immediately useful networks and learnings, and also to assess and develop an ongoing field of practice and collaboration.

Approximately 20 to 30 participants will attend the workshop, by invitation, selected according to the following criteria: deep domain expertise; creative problem-solving capacity; innovative practice; and exposure to the full breadth of progress across theaters and geographic regions. Target regions include sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Arctic, Native American communities, small island nations in the Caribbean and the Pacific, western Australia and Latin America. As of this writing, organizations confirmed to attend include the Africa Minigrid Developers Association, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, EM ONE Energy, ThirdWay Africa, Camus Energy, IFC, RMI, Penn State University, HOMER Energy, World Resources Institute, Odyssey Energy, World Bank, Cross Boundary Innovation Lab, and SparkMeter.

Core Partners

MSL Advisor Nathan Williams, Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and MSL President David Breecker will act as conveners and co-facilitators with Sam Duby of TFE Africa. Williams, whose research has included data analytics applications for remote electrification in Africa, has served as a visiting instructor at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Rwanda. The Energy Sovereignty Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and several other MSL Members and collaborators are also expected to join.

The Core Partners are supported by an advisory committee representing leading organizations in the relevant regions, including IFC, Camus Energy, World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, RMI, WRI, and University of Alaska Anchorage.