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‘Breakthrough tech and creative alliances will lead energy access revolution’

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Top minds and next-generation leaders release actionable recommendations to eradicate energy isolation at closing ceremony of OpenAccess Energy Summit

“Plug & power” open-source micro-grid technologies, the establishment of a global council on energy equity and accountability and the networking of energy isolated communities to share best practices are among the recommendations made at  the OpenAccess Energy Summit in Waterloo, Canada — a gathering of researchers, practitioners, representatives of Canada’s First Nations and energy-isolated communities, lawyers, government advisors and financiers.

“The time for action is now,” says Jatin Nathwani, OpenAccess Energy Summit’s Chief Scientific Advisor and Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Waterloo. “What we’ve done at this Summit is bring the key elements together in a way that allows us to clearly see the road ahead. What has emerged is a global picture that unlocks tremendous economic opportunity.”

Global electrification efforts to date have left more than a billion people unconnected, disadvantaged and at the margins of society with no credible pathway to the realization of their full human potential. This dire scenario is forecast to further deteriorate by 2030. A plan to change that, with integrated, implementable and impactful global energy solutions began to emerge this week at the OpenAccess Energy Summit.

The vision and recommendations in the OpenAccess Energy Communiqué were made in an announcement today and include:

·         Creation of financial environments that allow energy entrepreneurs and innovators to take risks

·         Global oversight of energy equity and accountability

·         Extensive networking of energy-poor communities to share solutions

·         Available and appropriate energy literacy education

“Whether here or in New Zealand, our communities need to play a leading role in developing energy resources in a way that aligns with our cultural values,” says Summit contributor Judith Sayers (Kekinusuqs), former Chief of Hupacasath First Nation and Adjunct Professor at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. “We need to invest in a shared knowledge base to unlock the potential in our communities. This Blueprint will be one of the tools we can use to accelerate our efforts.”

The OpenAccess Energy Communiqué is available for download at at

OpenAccess Energy Participants

Summit contributors hail from 22 different countries and four of Canada’s First Nations. They represent a range of organizations including ARC Finance, Ghana’s Ashesi University, D. Light Design, Enda Energie, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, INSEDA, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Lumos Energy, MIT, Oxford University, Practical Action, Promethean Power, Samsø Energie Academie, University of California at Berkeley, University of Waterloo, and more.

Visit for a full list of participants.

Journalism Fellowship

A collaboration between WGSI and Discourse Media, the Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship awarded fellowships to nine journalists from around. The result, Power Struggle, is an immersive and interactive experience blending long-form written feature articles with multimedia narratives investigating issues of energy access in 9 diverse communities.

Join the discussion at

Public Programming

While the Summit’s working sessions were private, a range of free, public programming brought discussion of the topline issues to audiences in the local community, across Canada and around the world. Speakers included Dan Kammen of University of California Berkeley, Samsø Island’s Søren Hermansen and 2007 TED Global Fellow, William Kamkwamba.

Visit to watch archived video.

TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization and the summit’s presenting media partner, broadcasted The Agenda with Steve Paikin from the Summit venue during from Monday through Wednesday.

Visit to watch archived video.

About WGSI

Founded in 2009, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) is a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo. The mandate of WGSI is to promote dialogue around complex global issues and to catalyze the long-range thinking necessary to advance ideas, opportunities and strategies for a secure and sustainable future through our Summit Series, Blueprints and Impact Activities. Learn more at[more

About WGSI’s Previous Summits

Energy 2030

In June of 2011, Energy 2030 brought visionaries and experts together to create a technological roadmap for a low-carbon, electrified future. Download the Energy 2030 Blueprint.

Learning 2030

In September 2013, experts working in education globally convened to propose the most effective high school environment for the teenagers of 2030. Download the Learning 2030 Blueprint.

For more information contact

Hayley Rutherford
Content & Programming Manager
Waterloo Global Science Initiative
T +1 (519) 569-7600 ext. 7613
[email protected]