High Impact Opportunities


One of the primary ways in which Sustainable Energy for All drives action is through the formation of High Impact Opportunities (HIOs). HIOs are categories of action that have been identified as having significant potential to advance the three objectives of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL):

  1. Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
  2. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Approximately 50 High Impact Opportunities have been identified to date. Some examples include: Advanced Lighting and Appliance Efficiency, Building Energy Efficiency, Energy and Women’s Health, Finance, Modern Cooking Appliances and Fuels, Off-Grid Lighting and Charging, Phase out of Gas Flaring, Sustainable Bioenergy, Sustainable Energy for Island Economies, and Vehicle Fuel Efficiency.

What are HIOs and HIIs?

High Impact Opportunities (HIOs) and High Impact Initiatives (HIIs) are where individual and coordinated action occurs. A multitude of stakeholders across different sectors and industries are contributing to Sustainable Energy for All’s objectives. Many have made public commitments to lead their own High Impact Initiatives, which are targeted, on-the-ground programs or projects in support of Sustainable Energy for All. Stakeholders – businesses, NGOs, foundations, scholars, entrepreneurs and all others - are invited to submit additional HIIs to help advance universal energy access, greater energy efficiency, and increased use of renewables.

HIOs serve as a collective forum for stakeholders working on various High Impact Initiatives within the same general area. This helps to leverage Sustainable Energy for All’s full convening power. Each HIO has at least two co-leaders who rotate on an annual basis to ensure shared leadership. These co-leads are responsible primarily for establishing the vision and direction of the HIO, outlining an implementation plan for action, convening existing HIIs and encouraging new ones, and reporting on progress. HIOs will effectively become depositories of expertise, proven solutions, and innovation. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative also facilitates linkages between HIOs and actions taking place in countries that have chosen to pursue the three objectives.

What is the value of High Impact Opportunities (HIOs)?

HIOs provide a platform for stakeholders from the private sector, public sector, and civil society to work together on specific actions that advance sustainable energy within the framework of the larger global initiative. HIOs enable partners to:

  • Collaborate with other organizations on similar objectives
  • Track and mobilize resources and investment
  • Overcome barriers that are difficult to tackle individually
  • Share best practices and coordinate activities
  • Develop and promote international standards
  • Broker new partnerships
  • Access global decision-making on sustainable energy (e.g. through forums such as the World Economic Forum, Green Growth Action Alliance, etc.)
  • Acquire recognition through Sustainable Energy for All’s reporting and events