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[Episode #89] – Energy Access and Health

How can solutions like Project Bo—the solar-powered microgrid we discussed in Episode #85—be extended to help people elsewhere in the developing world who have similar health and medical needs? How the funding can be arranged? How should projects like this be scoped and designed to ensure their long-term viability? What kinds of energy supply and energy consuming devices are best suited to address the needs for remote medical clinics? What kinds of partner organizations can be helpful in implementing these kinds of projects? And what can philanthropic and aid organizations learn from recent experiences to ensure that their support has an enduring impact?

Our guest in this episode not only helped make Project Bo a reality, but she also has a uniquely deep understanding of the intersection of health and energy systems in the developing world. She has worked on energy access in many impoverished countries around the world, and she has a unique perspective on the global state of health and energy, including how and where philanthropic funding for health and energy projects works, and doesn’t work. And you may be surprised to learn which energy solutions she thinks can really make a big difference in women’s health in the developing world today…it’s probably not what you think!

Guest:

Richenda Van Leuuwen is currently Chair, International Institutions at the non-profit Global LPG Partnership and a member of the World Bank’s Energy Program’s (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group (TAG). From 2010-2016 she led Energy Access at the UN Foundation and its engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. Richenda previously worked in private equity and as an impact investor in emerging markets renewable energy. She also served as CEO of the international women’s micro-entrepreneurship NGO, Trickle Up for nearly five years. She is a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and a founding U.S. Women’s “Clean Energy Ambassador” (C3E initiative).

On Twitter: @vanleeuwenr

Recording date: January 20, 2019

Air date: February 20, 2019

Geek rating: 2