Scaling Off-grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development: New Partnership Opportunity (Webinar)

1 March 2017

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PresentationIntroduction to the webinar and panelists

Presentation—Molly Doyle: Scaling Investment in Off-Grid Energy Solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa

TranscriptWebinar audio transcript

For additional information on the Scaling Off-Grid Energy funding opportunity, please visit
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The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with Grand Challenge for Development (SOGE), hosted this webinar to discuss SOGE’s new funding opportunity and answer your questions.

SOGE is a partnership of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Power Africa, UK Department for International Development’s Energy Africa campaign (DFID), and the Shell Foundation. The Grand Challenge seeks to accelerate growth in the off-grid energy market to provide 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa with access to clean and affordable modern energy services. SOGE funds early stage companies, incentivizes technological innovation, and supports critical elements of the off-grid ecosystem.

The new USAID funding opportunity is designed to increase private-sector investment in the household solar market, and support innovative technology solutions and business models across the household solar value chain that provide, or support the provision of, affordable energy access to low-income households and small businesses across sub-Saharan Africa. This funding window requires a 2:1 private investor commitment to proposed USAID funding.

SOGE will accept concept papers until 30 April 2017. These will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to engage both investors and USAID early in the process in order to explore a potential alliance and develop a concept paper for submission.

The presentations will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience.


Molly DoyleMolly Doyle, Senior Technical Adviser, USAID

Molly is a senior advisor for Scaling Off-Grid Energy, a USAID initiative to increase energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. With a background in renewable energy and entrepreneurship, she has worked as an energy investment advisor in East and West Africa, co-founded a solar company, patented multiple solar cell technologies and worked as an energy lobbyist at both the state and federal levels.

Maurice KentMaurice Kent, Innovation Adviser and Program Officer, USAID

Maurice is an Innovation Adviser and Program Officer at USAID's U.S. Global Development Lab. As part of the Scaling Off-Grid Energy team, he manages a portfolio of investments in off-grid energy companies and designs new investment opportunities. He has spent nearly eight years as a civil servant, building government start-ups in the U.S. Foreign Assistance world.

Alex Towns BlakeAlex Towns Blake, Senior Adviser, USAID

Alex is Senior Advisor for SOGE at USAID, where he helps drive new partnerships to increase investment in off-grid energy services in Africa. His energy investment advisory experience spans East and West Africa, as well as Southeast Asia, including with the IFC’s Lighting Africa/ Global program, Enclude (advisory arm of Triodos Bank), and the U.S. African Development Foundation. He began his career as an entrepreneur.