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Energy for Prosperity


Matthew Cullinen

senior director, renewable energy

Richard Harrison

ceo, smart power myanmar


people with improved access to energy in 2020

Globally, more than 1 billion people lack access to energy. For developing communities, this presents a major roadblock to progress, in areas from education and livelihoods to health and food security. 

With a focus on innovation and social enterprise, Pact’s Energy for Prosperity program works to improve access to energy as part of an integrated approach to development that creates the systemic changes needed to improve people’s lives.

We collaborate with governments, companies, investors and other civil society organizations to connect supply and demand for energy, remove market distortions and work toward a future in which all people have the skills and resources they need to enjoy the many benefits of modern energy.

Energy for Prosperity began in Myanmar and is now expanding globally. From solar home systems to mini grids, we’re advancing reliable solutions that are safer, cheaper and cleaner than typical alternatives such as wood, kerosene, candles and diesel. With increasing access to energy, the communities we serve are launching and expanding new businesses, powering farm equipment and drinking water systems, reading to their children at night and more.

Expanding access to energy can contribute to achieving each of the Sustainable Development Goals, and is a goal in itself, making it a crucial part of the global development agenda.

A global transition to modern energy services does not have to mean significant negative impacts for developing communities that rely on mining. With our integrated approach, our Mines to Markets program and participation in initiatives such as the Global Battery Alliance, Pact is working to ensure responsible mineral supply chains and clean energy storage. 

Energy for Prosperity guiding principles:

  • Technology agnostic, community focused. We work to implement solutions that best meet the needs of the communities we serve.
  • Fair market competition. We do not advocate for individual service providers or vendors. Instead we seek to stimulate the creation of well-functioning markets.
  • Evidence-based. We design solutions and select service providers based on empirical research and comparative analysis, with input from communities and technical experts.
  • Renewable Energy Solutions. We believe in a clean energy future, but we also approach the energy access challenge pragmatically, working with communities to identify the most sustainable, cost effective solutions.

Stories and Highlights

Electrification is vital to fight against poverty in Myanmar

January 22, 2021
No country on earth has achieved meaningful development for its people without mass access to reliable, affordable electricity. In this Myanmar Times article, Pact's Richard Harrison and Smart Power...
Drawings by Richard Harrison/Pact.

“We can find our way around any barriers”: The women driving change in Myanmar’s energy sector

August 7, 2020
by Lyndal Pearce If there was ever a mountain to climb, Myanmar’s energy transition represents the Hkakabo Razi of all challenges. With just 50% of the country able to access reliable power, mostly...
Photo: Pact

Miller Center, Smart Power Myanmar & Chevron launch mini-grid accelerator program

June 23, 2020
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 17, 2020 – Leaders from 13 Myanmar energy access enterprises are set to gain access to experienced business executives from Silicon Valley and South East Asia as part of an...
Solar panels in rural Myanmar

Pandemic priorities: Is access to energy one of them?

April 24, 2020
The huge disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how much 

Changing rural agriculture businesses with electricity

January 10, 2020
Rural entrepreneurs without access to electricity rely on diesel generators to run their businesses. The average cost of power generation can be very high — up to MMK 1,200 (USD 0.80) per unit. This...

Quadrupling sales through reliable electricity access

December 12, 2019
Khin Cho Wint lives in a rural village in Myanmar with electricity access supplied through a decentralized mini-grid. She took an interest-free loan from Smart Power Myanmar’s Energy Impact Fund and...

New market analysis shows high potential for sustainable, successful mini-grid solutions for electrifying Myanmar

June 3, 2019
As part of ongoing efforts to bring electricity to every household and business in Myanmar, Smart Power Myanmar, a national platform with a mandate to advance a modern energy ecosystem in country,...

Ahlin Yaung: Lighting a path to prosperity and development

December 6, 2018
U Kyaw Htay, a villager in Myanmar’s Myeik township, Tanintharyi Region, used to only do business when the sun was up. With his wife, he runs a small café shop that caters to his neighbors in Ashae...

Ending energy poverty: An interview with Pact's Matthew Cullinen

August 21, 2018
For years, Pact has worked with rural communities in Myanmar to improve their lives. With its partners, the organization has helped villages make dramatic change in areas including health, water and...

The next phase of rural electrification in Myanmar

June 26, 2018
How do you provide a service when neither the provider nor the customer has a good sense of the demand? This is one of the main challenges facing the off-grid energy industry in Myanmar, a country...