WAME & Expo2015 (World Access to Modern Energy)* is an initiative at Expo Milano 2015 designed to increase public awareness of a problem, that of exclusion from access to electricity by a large part of the world’s population. It also aims above all to highlight the very large number of projects which address this problem in the world today. Today almost 1.3 billion people, around 20% of the world population, have no access to electricity, but many more, around 2.6 billion people, 38% of the world population, have no access to “clean cooking solutions”, i.e. methods of cooking with a low environmental impact. This is lack of access to “modern energy”. It means harm to your health and not having adequate health services available, no guarantee of a basic education and of gender equality and great difficulty in developing economic activities including agriculture. Greater access to modern energy would increase access to water and food resources enormously and this would reduce extreme poverty and improve the quality of life.
One problem, many solutions: the example given by the projects
Universal access to energy is a great challenge. Some solutions to this problem can be seen in the field. They are the many projects small and large in the world which bring electricity to where it is lacking and with it a chance to receive services such as drinking water or to start up small agricultural businesses. WAME has brought together a huge number of projects which bear witness to the efforts made to supply electricity to families, communities and local businesses, mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Three projects have been awarded prizes in the “Case Studies on Access to Energy” competition because they have increased access to electricity, spread clean and healthy cooking solutions and improved the social conditions of women. NGOs, companies and institutions can contribute to the WAME website by publishing projects and sharing their experiences so that they become a pool of resources available to all as a starting point for new solutions.
Chances to learn
You can visit the WAME Energy Corner in the Cascina Triulza at the Expo. It is a “show-installation” which helps you understand how life in communities has improved with access to electricity. It illustrates projects implemented by international NGOs and highlights the global nature of the problem and the efforts made to address it. Information, presentations and videos use data, illustrations and first-hand accounts to tell the story of how the quality of life grows and of how a different future is possible thanks to the availability of modern energy. WAME has also organised a series of meetings on different aspects of the issue including the state of access to energy in different parts of the world such as Africa, the role of renewable energies and innovation in providing solutions and the importance of making clean cooking solutions widespread. Academics, NGOs, businesses and institutions compare ideas and tools that they can use to win the challenge of universal access to electricity. Please consult this website and our social network pages for details of coming events.
* WAME&Expo2015 is an association founded by leading European energy companies ‒ A2A, Edison, Enel, Eni, E.ON Italia, GDF SUEZ Energia Italia, Gas Natural Italia, Tenaris ‒ along with Expo Milano 2015