One million dollar grant: Ensuring access to energy for all

With 1.2 billion people lacking access to electricity, energy remains one of the most cross-cutting, sustainable development-related issues and a core challenge in our daily lives. It is necessary to have safe, clean, sustainable, and affordable energy in order to ensure the well-being of people and the economy, as well as to protect the environment. While energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) contribute to climate change, it is crucial to ensure universal access to more modern and “greener” energy services.

During the Rio+20 Conference, Member States recognized the critical role that energy plays in development, poverty eradication, health promotion. Moreover, in September 2015, Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with SDG7 specifically calling to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.”

In order to promote innovative solutions, UNDESA, through financial support from the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a non-governmental organization with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, launched a milestone initiative titled “Powering the Future We Want” in July 2014. It offers an annual grant of one million US dollars to fund capacity development activities in energy for sustainable development.

“Energy underpins our efforts to achieve development objectives — from reducing extreme poverty to enhancing food security, from powering essential health services to providing electricity for education,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at last year’s ceremony, when the first ever UNDESA Energy Grant was awarded to We Care Solar, a non-profit organization, to support its “Solar Suitcase” project.

This year’s theme of the Grant focuses on “Energy for Sustainable Transport.” The objective is to encourage scientific and technological innovations that improve energy for sustainable transport, while addressing economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Sustainable transport is integrated with environmental protection, inclusive growth, social equity, climate action, human health, and will thus advance the SDG of building sustainable cities and communities.

Applications are open to individuals, institutions, or partnerships based on past and current achievements and must be submitted online in English by 30 August 2016. To access the online application form, please click here. For queries and additional information, please email

Follow Us