Lighting Global’s Support of Clean Energy Markets for the Rural Poor

About this webinar:

For the 1.3 billion people without electricity around the globe, illumination comes from a range of fuel-based lights that are expensive, unhealthy, dangerous, and contribute strongly to global climate change. An emerging alternative technology, high efficiency solar-LED lighting systems, holds great promise to alleviate poverty through modern energy access, bridging the gap between fuel-based lighting and a grid extension that may be years away. This webinar presents a summary of Lighting Global’s work to support markets for good-quality, off-grid lighting with a focus on quality assurance.

In addition to a summary of this technology, its users, and its markets, we will present details on the Lighting Global Quality Assurance Program, an emerging global framework for measuring and communicating quality and performance. Without good information about quality and performance, institutions and buyers would be left guessing in the fast-moving market for LED lighting. The Lighting Global approach to creating and managing a quality assurance program is unique because it incorporates a continuum of viewpoints and needs, from the rural poor to multilateral non-governmental institutions (e.g., the U.N.) and private industry. By presenting the framework we hope to spur conversation and ideas on how it can be improved and how the concepts can be extended to other technology targeted at the needs of the global poor.



Dr. Arne Jacobson is Director of the Schatz Energy Research Center and Associate Professor in the Environmental Resources Engineering department at Humboldt State University.  He serves as the technical lead for off-grid lighting product quality assurance for the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global initiative, which is associated with the Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia programs. He has a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree focused on Environmental Resources Engineering (Humboldt State University), and a bachelor’s degree in physics (Earlham College). His areas of research and work interest include renewable energy technologies, energy access in off-grid areas, and clean energy deployment policy. Arne’s work is interdisciplinary, combining renewable energy engineering, energy policy, and a social geography based approach to international development studies. He has extensive international work experience in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.


Peter Alstone is a consultant on clean energy systems and a Ph.D. student in the University of California, Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group.  He is a core member of the Lighting Global Quality Assurance team, which supports the market for modern off-grid lighting in the developing world.  Peter’s work for Lighting Global includes technical and engineering support, policy development, and market intelligence. His research focus areas include information technology approaches to clean energy development, understanding markets for demand-side energy technology, and integrated energy policy.  Peter holds degrees in Chemical Engineering (B.S. North Carolina State University) and Environmental Systems (M.S. Humboldt State University).

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