Extending energy access to as many people as possible

Tournage Ouganda

Energy is vital and a source of progress. Wherever it is available, it has a critical impact on economic development and standards of living. Making energy accessible to as many people as possible is central to our ambition. We develop innovative and distributed solutions to provide off-grid communities access to an affordable, reliable and sustainable source of energy that contributes to the fight against climate change.

Why it matters


Energy is a basic necessity in the same way as water or food, whether it is used to provide light or heat, keep goods fresh, or get around. However, 850 million1 people still do not have access to it.

We are leveraging all our knowledge and our capacity for innovation to deliver energy to as many people as possible. Ultimately, this requires modern solutions adapted to the individual needs of isolated communities.

This initiative is a cornerstone of our strategy. In the future, the countries most in need of energy will be those where access is currently limited and which have a high-carbon energy mix2. Giving these communities the widest possible access to cleaner energy is a key factor in the fight against climate change.

1 Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)
2 The term energy mix refers to how final energy consumption breaks down by primary energy source.

Providing cleaner, distributed energy solutions

At TotalEnergies, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major. We have therefore pledged to contribute to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (Goal 7), our Company has been working for several years to devise and deliver solutions to extend energy access to as many people as possible. 

Our objective is to improve the lives of 25 million people by 2025.

Since 2010, we have been developing a distributed product line tailored to the energy needs of communities in emerging markets, while contributing to the fight against climate change. Access To Energy Solutions (TATES), for example, offers solar lamps that enable people to light their homes, get around and study after dark, and individual solar kits that can power cell phones, radios, fans and other small appliances, thereby making everyday life easier for households. In the working world, solar photovoltaic lights, kits and kiosks are available for entrepreneurs wishing to set up or develop a business in a reliable, lasting, affordable and fully independent manner. 

Since the start of the program, over 3 million solar lamps and kits have been distributed in 40 countries, leading to a tangible improvement in the daily lives of nearly than 15 million people. What is more, according to an impact study conducted in 2017, 89% of users said that their solar lamp had significantly improved their living standards.

To make these solutions available to the largest number of people, TATES also teams up with local businesses to offer products and financing solutions that are adapted to every budget (PayGo, microcredit, etc.). 

million people have benefited from our access to energy program since 2010
million metric tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided
89% (*)
of users say that their solar lamp has improved their living standards
(*) Impact study conducted in 2017

Limiting the environmental footprint of our products


In addition to raising living standards, we strive to reduce the environmental footprint of our products. 

To this end, we perform life-cycle assessments in order to calculate and mitigate the cradle-to-grave impact of our products on the environment, from production and distribution to use and end-of-life disposal. In addition, we strive to decrease our waste output and to recover and recycle our resources, in all countries where facilities are available. 

Innovation and partnerships to enhance energy access

A number of distribution, financing and recycling challenges need to be overcome to develop reliable, sustainable and modern solutions for facilitating access to energy. For this reason, TATES teams up with different institutional, nonprofit and industrial partners, developing innovative solutions to deliver energy to the greatest number of people.

To do so, we focus on incubating innovative projects. We identify and support organizations whose technologies and business models aim to broaden access to energy. We also assist entrepreneurs in the energy-access sector via calls for projects. This is how we partnered with Solergie, which is operating a solar nanogrid project in Togo and Benin. Thanks to its SolergieBox system, up to eight residents can connect to a small power grid that will deliver sustainable power to their home or business. 

In addition, as part of our commitment to providing reliable, sustainable and modern power solutions to remote communities, we are building a network of institutional, nonprofit, financial and industrial partners to maximize our impact and rise to the distribution, financing and recycling challenges. To date, around 50 such partnerships have been established.