The Agreement

In 2010, the Italian Ministry for the Environment and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed an Agreement that establishes the Clean Energy Access Program (CEAP).  

The Program’s goal is to bring a clean, a high quality energy to more than one billion people without access to electricity grid.

CEAP supports Lighting Global, the platform by the World Bank Group (BM-IFC) that promotes the sustainable development of the off-grid solar market as a mean to increase rapidly the access to energy.

Funds allocated in total in order to support the platform amount to 25,95 billion dollar.

    Objectives and results

1,2 billion people in the world, until now, do not have access to the electricity grid. Each year, 27 billion are spent on kerosene, candles, torches lighting systems and other charging and lighting systems that use fossil fuels. These are highly polluting solutions, expensive and dangerous for human health.

The first supported initiative was Lighting Africa, whose goal is to accelerate the development of the off-grid lighting products market in rural, urban and peri-urban areas without access to electricity in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. Subsequently, the program, in collaboration with IFC, supported the Lighting Asia initiative, aimed at replicating the success of Lighting Africa in the Asian continent.

The countries covered today by the program are these: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.

Since 2017, the Italian Ministry for the Environment has decided to support market innovations so to expand the impact of emerging off-grid technologies. The purpose is to promote sustainable economic development. This new phase will develop and commercialize the most powerful certified products, extending their application from the domestic dimension to the productive one (for example in the field of irrigation or fishing).

Results have been and continue to be extraordinary. Also thanks to the Italian contribution, 130 million people have benefited from modern energy services through affordable solar systems; 57 companies meet the quality standards set by the program and 121 are the products certified to date. Thanks to the program, 20 countries have adopted policies in favour of promoting high quality off-grid lighting products and, every year, the emission into the atmosphere of 1.75 million CO2 has been avoided. Furthermore, since its inception, the program has attracted investments for 76 million dollars.

    Opportunities for the private sector

The Program works with private companies to lower the first-mover risk and mobilize private sector investments through:

• the support for the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association;
• the financing for market intelligence activities;
• the expansion and dissemination of quality standards for solar products;
• the organization of consumer information campaigns;
• the support for the adoption of storage technologies so as to meet the needs of the “poorly electrified population”.

Companies can participate to the Program by submitting their products to the LA-QTM TEST (Lighting Africa Quality Test Method), the system set-up by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in order to test the quality and accessibility standards of off-grid lighting systems, solar and LED. The Test makes available to distributors and institutional wholesalers the list of products that have passed the tests and the performance results. In this way, suppliers able to participate in the program are identified, with the possibility of receiving funding from BM and IFC.

Companies (or groups of companies) operating in the following sectors can participate: LED lighting systems powered by solar energy (photovoltaic, including components, circuits and supports related to them); charging systems for electronic devices (mainly mobile phones) powered by solar energy; cooking systems powered by solar energy.

The Program also provides advice to companies and offers a wide range of services including: assistance in market access strategies, risk management and development of innovative models, promotion of economies of scale, assistance in the distribution and sale of products.

Useful information on how to access funding and the LA-QTM test are available on the World Bank Group's Global Lighting Platform website:


Giorgia Caropreso
AT Sogesid
Tel. (+39) 06 5722 8160
- Administration Agreement for the financial support of clean Energy Access Program (July 2010, EN)
- I° Amendement to the Agreement (August 2015, EN)
- II° Amendement to the Agreement (August 2015, EN)
- III° Amendement to the Agreement (November 2015, EN)
- IV° Amendement to the Agreement (March 2016, EN)
- V° Amendement to the Agreement (March 2018, EN)