Q&A with Koen Peters, GOGLA’s Executive Director
Tell us about GOGLA – what is your mission?
GOGLA is the voice of the off-grid solar energy industry. As the sector’s industry association, our mission is to help our 110 members to build sustainable markets, made up of successful companies, delivering quality, affordable off-grid electricity products and services to as many customers as possible across the developing world.
How do you partner with SEforALL?
SEforALL and GOGLA became official partners earlier this year, working together in key areas such as policy and strategy, promotion of each other’s activities and sharing insights into the energy access and off-grid solar sectors. Even before the official launch of our partnership, GOGLA held a shared vision with SEforAll, worked closely with the organization, and regularly contributed to and attended the Sustainable Energy for All Forum.
What do you believe is key to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030?
We strongly believe in partnerships as a key enabler of progress towards SDG7, particularly between the private and public sector. What we need is a bold coalition of policy-makers, companies, financiers and civil society seizing the opportunities offered by rapidly deployable decentralized renewable energy solutions such as off-grid solar.
How does GOGLA support SDG7 action?
The solutions offered by GOGLA members, such as solar lanterns and solar home systems, have brought entry-level energy access to at least 120 million people since 2010. GOGLA supports SDG7 by helping its members to scale and run successful companies. Currently, its focus is on creating an enabling policy environment in key markets, facilitating access to finance and coordinating activities in consumer protection and quality assurance. GOGLA also regularly hosts sector events such as the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing within the sector.
What do you think is the priority area to advance the off-grid sector?
Thanks to technological advances and business innovations, the off-grid solar energy sector has experienced considerable growth despite sometimes unfavorable policy environments and market conditions. There is still a great need to convince more governments and organizations that off-grid solar can offer a faster and reliable path (than traditional grid based technology) towards universal energy access by 2030. GOGLA’s partnership with SEforALL will play a pivotal role in achieving exactly that.
Photo credits: GOGLA/Jeff M. Walcott