Our Specialists.

Director, Water, Energy, and Sustainable Cities Practice Michael Ashford

Michael Ashford is a senior clean energy and infrastructure professional with more than 20 years of experience working with USAID, the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation, as well as private and non-profit organizations. For USAID and the government of Nepal, Mr. Ashford led assessments and training for a public-private partnership project that financed run-of-river hydropower. He also completed return-on-investment analysis and training for energy efficiency and demand side management programs in Senegal. In the energy efficiency and biological sequestration sectors, Mr. Ashford co-led a feasibility study for the World Bank’s Proto-Type Carbon Fund and for carbon financing of greenhouse gas reduction activities. For private sector clients, he assessed project investment opportunities for biomass-fired cogeneration and coalmine methane recovery and use. Mr. Ashford also worked with the International Finance Corporation and Global Environment Facility to evaluate global small and medium-size enterprise investments in commercial entities that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions through their businesses.

by Michael Ashford


What Is Needed to Mobilize Commercial Finance for the Water Sector?

The projections of the financing needed for water infrastructure range from $6.7 trillion by 2030 to $22.6 trillion by 2050. These estimates do not include investments needed for water resources, irrigation, or energy. Further, the World Bank has estimated that to deliver universal access to safe water and sanitation services under the Sustainable Development Goals…

Crowding-in Commercial Financing to Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities

This post originally appeared on the Rural Water Supply Network blog. Achieving SDG6, clean water, and sanitation for all by 2030 requires estimated investments of US$114 billion per year. The present value of the total investment needed is US$1.7 trillion, and these estimates do not include costs of operation and maintenance. At three times current…

Despite Challenges, Urban Microgrids Increase Resilience

Urban microgrids are high on the global development agenda. They are attractive for many reasons, most recently for their relevance to climate change adaptation and mitigation. They have proven resilient to extreme weather events, and, because they create commercial opportunities for low-carbon generation technology, they can reduce greenhouse gases from the urban sector in the…

Learning from the Past: 3 Lessons for Future Water Partnerships

Safe and reliable access to water is a fundamental prerequisite for development. Despite gains made in improving water management and increasing access to water around the world, service providers continue to confront technical and financial resource deficits. International donors are increasingly highlighting the investment gap for infrastructure and services as a key impediment to achieving…

Let There Be Light: The Case for Powering Peri-Urban Communities

A well-established energy system aids all sectors, from commerce, technology, and communications, to health, education, agriculture and infrastructure. Conversely, a dearth of reliable energy constrains human and economic development. While 222 million people have gained access to electricity in recent years, one in five — or 1.1 billion people worldwide — still lack access. Many…

Sustained Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Power Hinges on Local and Regional Distribution Companies

Refocusing on distribution sector performance While central governments’ efforts in sub-Saharan Africa — with the support of the donor community — often focus on reducing risks to investment in new generation, the long-term financial and political sustainability of increased energy access depends equally on the success of local distribution companies. As noted in Mark Tomlinson’s…