Leonardo DiCaprio and Greg Barker unite for solar delivery scheme

Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and former UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker have formed an unlikely alliance in an initiative which aims to deliver renewable energy to the 1.4 billion people that live without access to reliable electricity.

DiCaprio and Barker have been announced as Inaugural Advisory Board Members for microgrid solutions provider Powerhive, which supplies affordable, reliable, and productive solar electricity to rural communities in the developing world.

DiCaprio, who appeared at the recent Paris climate summit as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, said: “We have the ability to transition our world to 100% clean, renewable energy, using existing techniques, within our lifetime. I am proud to support technologies like those developed by Powerhive that are at the forefront of the trend to move away from fossil fuels.”

“This is an important and real step in our fight against climate change. Powerhive’s efforts will allow hundreds of millions of people to benefit from energy access – improving their quality of life without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Powerhive’s solutions are aimed at providing long-term, scalable solutions for sustainable economic development across the world’s developing and neglected markets. The company deploys its microgrids in partnership with an array of global utility and energy providers. Powerhive recently collaborated with Enel Green Power which will serve approximately 90,000 in Western Kenya and is being heralded as a major milestone for energy access in a developing country.

Business and pleasure

The new board member role caps off a busy few weeks for DiCaprio, who was busy fulfilling his role as UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change in Paris over the past 14 days. He has been one of the more vocal celebrities who have come forward to raise awareness to the growing threat of climate change, pledging to divest his personal wealth and charitable foundation’s fund from fossil fuels.

Lord Barker is overseeing strategic expansions for Powerhive across the Southern hemisphere.

“The historic global agreement to tackle climate change that was announced in Paris will give added impetus and urgency to our already ambitious plans to bring clean, zero carbon electricity to off-grid communities in the developing world,” said Lord Barker.

“Part of my role as an advisor will be to ensure Powerhive’s strategic expansion and critical infrastructure solutions work well with the plans and aspirations for energy access of a whole range of countries across the global South.”

In an edie exclusive earlier this year, Lord Barker warned that the complex environment of energy subsidies would provide a difficult challenge for DECC; claiming “it won’t be an easy ride”.

Matt Mace

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