卡罗来纳Barreto Discusses the Climate Resilience Lessons from Expanding 能源 Access in Africa

Dr. 卡罗来纳Barreto, 利乐全球最大体育平台的能源访问总监, has more than 18 years of experience increasing energy access and expanding renewable energy around the world.

She has led teams that helped more than 20 countries and 200 companies connect millions of people to electricity, 采取有利于私营部门的能源政策, 选择更清洁的烹饪方式. Carolina has also designed projects and advised companies on solar home systems, 获得融资, 在监管, 以及能源和农业结合的创新.

She is a lead technical advisor to Power Africa; senior advisor on USAID’s Water and 能源 For Food (WE4F); and International 能源 Advisor for USAID’s 木炭替代品(A2C)项目 在赞比亚.

Carolina holds a PhD in renewable energy engineering and a Master of Science in solar energy engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell as well as a Bachelor of Science in agricultural engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería in Nicaragua.


继你们在离网能源领域的成功之后, 你认为我们如何获取能源的下一个转变是什么?

The shift is that we stop talking about “on-grid” versus “off-grid” and start talking about access overall and powering livelihoods. 从-grid was once a tiny sector in the developing world; now it is a mature industry, 为村庄和学校供电,为数百万新客户供电. 我的同事和 我写了这个转变 对于全球离网太阳能协会来说, GOGLA. 我们看到的是,仅仅提供电力是不够的.

Many customers have never changed a lightbulb or bought a refrigerator. People in remote areas must travel long distances to purchase or fix something. In Kenya two million customers got electricity and then stopped topping up their meters because it was too expensive and inconvenient. Integrating these customers into energy services means thinking more broadly about what the service is: not “the grid” or “off-grid,“而是设备示范、融资和维修.

有趣的是, many off-grid startups are now as big as traditional utilities and face the same challenges. They also have lessons to share with utilities, including for climate resiliency in North America. Companies that started by electrifying homes in Africa now offer remote monitoring to high fire-risk areas like the state of California. 从-grid technologies like mini-grids can connect to the main grid but switch to “island mode” to provide power during a disaster, 就像波多黎各在飓风期间一样.


Are governments and donors such as development agencies or multilateral banks taking a more holistic view of energy access?

现在有更多的资金用于能源获取,而不仅仅是离网. COVID-19是一个翔实的案例研究. Many governments started treating off-grid companies as essential services and providing subsidies during quarantines, 就像传统公用事业一样. This was a big signal that governments are not willing to let energy access services fail. Governments, donors, and the private sector have all acknowledged that this model is here to stay.

Donors also need to understand that access is not just about electrifying homes. 它还涉及支持商业和工业客户, from creating jobs in the hospitality industry to enabling agricultural exporters to comply with climate production requirements. 除了, public service entities can spend more on social services if they reduce energy consumption. 例如,亚洲最大体育平台看到了这种潜力, a Japanese car manufacturer recently invested in a solar solutions company we work with that serves hotels, 医院, 以及整个东非的社会基础设施. 这对汽车制造商的业务和环境都有好处. I increasingly expect to see that kind of investment from donors too.


Where do you see the most exciting opportunities for energy innovation?

电动汽车,简称ev. 他们融合了联网和离网的工具和想法. 目前的挑战是如何让全球最大体育平台们负担得起. We want to avoid carbon emissions, but we need a just transition where everyone has access to EVs. Not just cars and buses in cities, but also tuk-tuks and motorbikes in rural areas. We need to find strategies that bring services like EVs to different kinds of customers.

电动汽车也是数字化的一部分, which the sector has talked about for a while but has not yet implemented to its full potential. One example is smart meters: there’s this thinking that if you deploy prepaid meters, 你有一个智能电网, but there’s no point in installing smart meters without a dispatch platform and data visibility. Data can be a lot of waste if you don’t do something actionable with it.


How is Tetra Tech making sure energy projects bring positive impacts for communities?

There is finally an understanding that project impacts need to trickle down to communities—建立可再生能源和降低成本是不够的. As an engineering firm, we have deployed terawatts of energy around the world, and that’s positive! 我们正在使电网脱碳. 但社区不一定能看到影响. Those two million customers in Kenya who stopped topping up their meters show how we need to go further to understand what communities want and how these projects impact them. For example, Tetra Tech worked with local leaders in Kenya to develop a 社区参与指引. 这些最佳实践应该在所有项目中使用.

利乐全球最大体育平台带来了广泛的技能传输工程师, 可再生能源拍卖专家, 并接触专家——在项目上进行合作, which lets us share lessons on community engagement and scale up solutions. 拥有拥有广泛专业知识的团队——不仅仅是在能源方面, 还有治理, 农业, and rural development—just a text message away means we can transfer knowledge easily from Malawi to Thailand to Indonesia to Colombia. 这样我们才能走得更远.