Invitation to Join Electricity 4 Everyone (E4E)
It is with great pride, optimism and enthusiasm that I write to invite you to support and participate in Electricity 4 Everyone (E4E) – a fresh, specifically targeted, global movement to grow prosperity in developing nations by increasing access to affordable electricity for everyone.
E4E was conceived during long, dark nights I spent building a biomass business in the electricity-starved city of Buchanan, Liberia. E4E is based on a simple premise, “why should the poorest people in the world pay up to 5 times what we pay for electricity in North America, IF they have access to electricity at all?” We will not offer free electricity, rather, access to affordable electricity; defined as the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) we in North America pay– currently about $0.10 kWh
While in Liberia, and since, I fielded calls from well-intentioned institutions or individuals asking me if I could recommend a school or a village to donate used computers to. Or I would read about the Gates Foundations efforts to distribute vaccines and medicines or support awesome platforms like the Khan Academy.
In my view, many well-intentioned programs are constrained by a couple of fundamental facts – 1. Access to affordable electricity is the key driver of GDP per capita and 2. Too many people have little or no access to affordable electricity. I write this having been engaged on the ground in Liberia since 2006, where I witnessed life in all sorts of communities.
I have travelled to many different countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America to evaluate the need for E4E. I have talked with government officials, business and community leaders, power project developers, DFI’s, NGO’s, and other stakeholders. I am delighted by the support, interest and recognition of our movement – it is like a “light bulb” that goes on when we discuss E4E’s model!
My role as Founder of E4E is to spearhead the movement, tell the E4E story and originate opportunities through relationships with developers, government officials, local communities and donors. I am grateful that amazing, accomplished people have joined our Board of Directors and we have identified a team of exceptional men and women whom we would like to hire as full-time operational staff.
Our top priority is to structure, staff and fund E4E’s operations. We have registered E4E as a Canadian, not-for-profit corporation. We are not a registered charity as that process can take years, and we are ready to act now.
E4E’s immediate fundraising goal is $5 million. These funds will be used to recruit and hire key staff, and provide the working capital necessary to conduct formal due diligence on the projects we have identified in target countries. Our initial goal is to have 10 MW of affordable electricity in our sanctioned pipeline by 2013 .
We will then fundraise for each specific project, which we anticipate to be in the order of $12 million per MW, which will fund the 7-year (initial) term we plan to commit to for each project we support. E4E is the financial catalyst that bridges a critical financial requirement for projects that meet our criteria by guaranteeing that we will pay for some of the capacity they generate so users can purchase that electricity at affordable rates.
E4E will quickly grow into a very substantial not-for-profit movement addressing one of the most fundamental impediments to prosperity worldwide – access to affordable electricity. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss the E4E vision and how we are going to achieve our goals – with your support.
Please join E4E as we strive to deliver greater worldwide prosperity through access to affordable electricity.