Clean energy comes from renewable sources – i.e. those that are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal – as well as gains from improving efficiency of energy use. Skoll’s approach to clean energy is two-fold – increasing access to clean energy solutions; and influencing others to adopt and fund clean energy over fossil fuels.
Access to reliable, affordable, and ideally clean energy for households and businesses enhances income-generating activities 1 and supports provision of basic services such as health care and education. Pollution from inefficient cooking, lighting, and heating devices kills 4.3 million people a year i and causes a range of chronic illnesses and other health impacts. From an environmental perspective, greenhouse gas emissions are important drivers of climate change and local environmental degradation.2
Clean energy will be both reliable and affordable for all people, allowing them to improve their livelihoods, health, and education levels. Use of “dirty” energy will be reduced to zero or near-zero levels, which in turn will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and assuage climate change trends. Energy will come from sustainable sources that will not contribute to environmental degradation.
i WHO (Household air pollution and health)
ii World Bank (Energy Overview)
iii UN Foundation (Achieving Universal Energy Access)
iv U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (>Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions.)
1 Although varying by context, electrified households have been found to have non-farm incomes up to 50-72% higher than those not electrified. (PRODUSE)
2 If the world maintains the 2°C temperature increase limit targeted by global leaders, new investments in clean energy would contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, and total fuel savings would be an estimated $100 trillion between 2010 and 2050. (IEA)