Study on access to efficient energy in South-East Asia

The Foundation is following 2 members of Advise for Change for one full year

South East Asia

Advise for Change (AfC) is conducting a study funded by the Rexel Foundation to develop knowledge on innovative solutions providing an access to efficient energy in developing countries. The Rexel Foundation will follow the one-year mission of two members of the AfC international team, Amandine de Montvalon and Romain Joly. Their main objective is to study the local ecosystems on access to energy efficiency and look for social innovations related to energy efficiency in South East Asia.



  1. Get a better understanding of local ecosystems on social innovation related to access to energy efficiency.
  2. Identify active local actors that are developing innovative solutions in this field and analyze their needs.
  3. Determine the main barriers to growth faced by these projects.



Two areas will be explored by AfC:

  • South-East Asia (with a focus on projects based in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam) and
  • Latin America (with a focus on projects based in Brazil, Chile and Peru)

Interviews of the following actors supporting or developing social innovations:

  • International, regional and local public agencies.
  • Entrepreneurs networks.
  • Foundations supporting social innovation.
  • NGOs supporting.
  • Social entrepreneurs.
  • And any other actors relevant to better understand the issue.


Expected results

  1. On the one hand, raise these projects’ visibility and share insights on their needs to scale up thanks to large dissemination.
  2. On the other hand, the Rexel Foundation may support some of the identified projects through skills-based volunteer work and funding.


First insights after 5 months, 6 countries & more than 50 interviews

  • Challenges are very different from one country to another: from energy efficiency in Singapore and Vietnam to access to energy in Myanmar and Cambodia.
  • Safe means of cooking is a key energy issue that is completely independent of access to electricity: fuel wood is widely used across South East Asia even in well-electrified countries such as Vietnam.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution, the success relies on local customer-tailored initiatives: a new service or product will be successful if it doesn’t disrupt the existing value chain and if traditional actors (producers, distributors and customers) are willing to adopt it.
  • Energy social entrepreneurs still largely rely on hybrid financial strategies (grants & revenues): reaching BOP customers is not a profitable business. Successful models seem to be those that include commercial activities that subsidize the BOP ones.

Many more details in the final report.

See a video illustrating impacts of access to electricity on local population:

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