A woman charges an electric vehicle at a charging station.
Photo Credit
Duke University

$3 Million Gift to Power Duke Efforts to Expand Energy Access

In developing countries, access to modern energy has far-reaching effects on economic opportunity, well-being andeven emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. A new gift will redouble Duke University’s efforts to develop policy and market solutions at a critical moment of recovery and potential transformation in these markets.

The Energy Access Project at Duke (EAP) has received a $3 million gift from M.A. Rogers to expand its work. EAP was established in 2017 through an earlier gift from Rogers and her late husband, Jim, the former CEO and chairman of the board of the electric utility company Duke Energy. The program will adopt the new name of the “James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke” in his memory.

Jim believed that solving global energy poverty is essential to building a more equitable and sustainable world,” said M.A. Rogers. “He brought to Duke his philosophy of building bridges and gathering talented people together to solve this tremendous challenge. And now seeds that he planted years ago have become a model for how universities can use the power of partnership to mobilize the ideas and resources needed to solve big challenges. Jim would smile knowing that this Project now bears his name.” 

Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people do not have basic electricity, and those ranks swelled in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the planet’s most vulnerable especially hard. Billions more—concentrated largely in Africa and South Asia—lack access to energy systems that can power healthy, productive communities. Women give birth in hospitals by candlelight, vaccines spoil without proper storage, and unreliable grids keep businesses from competing in the global economy.