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Preparing for Increased Electrical Demands for Health Facilities in Developing Countries Due to COVID-19

HOMER Energy by UL updates online microgrid modeling tool Powering Health under a contract with the World Bank

Tanzania midwife at night holding cellphone light over female patient

June 8, 2020

Boulder, Colo – June 8, 2020 – HOMER Energy by UL, global leader in the development of standard-setting energy modeling software, partnered with the World Bank to update Powering Health. This free online HOMER microgrid modeling tool helps developing countries improve the capacity and reliability of power systems to meet the increased demands of caring for patients with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Due to the expected increase in electrical demand, the World Bank contracted HOMER Energy by UL to update the tool with data for the medical equipment needed for COVID-19 patient care. To meet the urgent need for preparedness, the project was fast-tracked and completed at the end of May 2020.

Initially developed fifteen years ago through a partnership with USAID, the online tool makes it easy for non-engineers to plan hybrid renewable energy systems by finding the least-cost power system to meet the electrical requirements of essential medical equipment. The new update will help health facilities ranging from rural clinics to district and referral hospitals plan for and respond more effectively to the treatment needs of patients with COVID-19.

Powering Health is a web-based version of HOMER that is customized for modeling the energy requirements of rural health clinics and hospitals. The software platform models stand-alone or grid-connected hybrid renewable energy systems that integrate batteries, diesel engines and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

The updates to Powering Health were funded by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) with technical support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and We Care Solar, as well as contributions from numerous experts.

“Reliable, least-cost electrical power enables countries and people to better manage emergency situations. We are so pleased to work with the World Bank to quickly update the Powering Health tool to meet the pressing health care needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Lilienthal, Ph.D., CEO of HOMER Energy by UL and global microgrid lead, UL.

The World Bank recently launched a first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world using a fast-track process to respond to COVID-19.

“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis,” according to a statement by World Bank Group President David Malpass.

To learn more about Powering Health and view the interactive HOMER tool visit

About HOMER Energy by UL

HOMER Energy by UL is the developer and distributor of HOMER software, a global standard for energy modeling tools that analyze solar-plus-storage, microgrids, and other distributed energy projects. HOMER® Pro simulates engineering and economic feasibility and enables the design of least-cost microgrid or distributed energy resources that combine conventional and renewable energy, storage, and load management when off-grid or tied to an unreliable grid. HOMER Grid, aimed at the behind-the-meter solar-plus-storage market, helps commercial and industrial customers design hybrid renewable energy systems that save on electricity bills and lower carbon footprints. Based in Boulder, Colorado, HOMER Energy by UL has had more than 200,000 users in over 190 countries. Learn more at

About UL

UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security, and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development, to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit To learn more about our nonprofit activities, visit

Photo courtesy of We Care Solar