If wealthy nations are to fulfill their $100 billion promise, it will likely be through a mix of public funding and private finance, said Jennifer Layke, global director of energy at the World Resources Institute, a non-profit not party to the agreement. “Some of the persistent challenges with getting markets to change and getting investment to flow into the developing world have remained really sticky problems,” she said.

Layke also said that philanthropies could play an important role in unsticking the market by supplying seed capital to model projects that demonstrate their viability—exactly what Rockefeller and Ikea partnership was designed to do.

“This is absolutely seed capital,” Shah said. “It's risk capital, so that we can motivate others to provide more commercially oriented investment capital to take these to scale.”

He pointed to India, where Rockefeller spent a decade funding 200 micro-solar grids to serve remote villages. Once the kinks were worked out, India’s own Tata Power agreed to expand the project to 10,000 grids.

Ikea has made similar investments in the past, but the two hope that by combining forces, they will be able to leverage billions more dollars and move at a new scale.

The partners say they have a roster of shovel-ready projects across India, Africa and Latin America. Rockefeller already signed commitments for development from both the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, America’s development bank.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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