A new report reveals that developing countries are pushing the planet towards a clean energy future. Climatescope 2018, from Ashden partner Bloomberg NEF, shows that sustainable energy deployment is growing fastest in the world’s poorer nations, where the building of coal-fuelled power stations has fallen sharply.

The energy transition worldwide is being facilitated by clean power policies that are increasingly commonplace in developing nations. Among the 103 emerging markets surveyed for Climatescope, just 11 today have no clean energy policies of any sort in place.

Climatescope 2018

The annual Climatescope survey scores developing countries on their sustainable energy experience, legal frameworks and opportunities for growth and investment. Ashden Award winners are among the pioneers driving change in the survey’s top-performing countries.

Their success shows what’s possible with the right support, policies and funding. Here are three examples of great innovation:

Ecozen Solutions – solar powered cold storage for farmers

India (ranked 2nd in Climatescope 2018)

The report praises India’s ambitious clean energy policies and extremely competitive renewable energy market, noting that its solar market almost doubled in size in 2017. One organisation playing a part in this is Ecozen Solutions. Their Ecofrost portable solar-powered cold rooms help farmers and growers keep produce fresh, cutting waste and maximising shelf life.

Users can buy whole cold rooms or rent space in one. The impact of these mobile phone-controlled, made-in-India units is huge – for example, they have allowed rose growers to keep their flowers for 21 days instead of two.

Lumos Global – affordable energy for everyone

Nigeria (ranked 14th in Climatescope 2018)

Lumos Global uses a ground-breaking pay-as-you go model to bring solar to people in Nigeria. The country is ranked one of the best in the world for sustainable energy opportunities by Climatescope – about half of its 186million people have no electricity.

Lumos has pioneered the use of mobile phone minutes as a currency for customers, allowing them to pay through their normal phone package. This has brought solar energy to more than a million people in homes, business and community buildings.

Happy customer Schola Andem says: ‘‘It means a lot, I can have power even when the grid is down. I can run the laptop and phone and TV and a couple of lights at the same time, without needing to run the generator.’

Empower Generation – rise of solar helps rural women

Nepal (ranked 20th in Climatescope 2018)

Empower Generation is bringing clean energy to remote areas of Nepal, helping to tackle poverty, improve health and reduce carbon emissions. The organisation supports rural women as they set up their own clean energy businesses and manage teams of sales agents.

As well as providing training, leadership opportunities and ongoing support, Empower Generation helps women tackle key barriers like confidence and resistance from family.

Agents sell solar lights and home systems as well as cookstoves and water filters. Solar helps people charge their phones and tend to plants and animals after dark.

Entrepreneur Mina Mahato says: “I can balance doing good in my community with running a successful business. I am extremely proud of the sign outside my shop that bears my own name.”