https://www.energychangelab.org/

Driving the Productive Use of Renewable Energy agenda forward

Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director, ARE

A new tool to facilitate productive uses of bioenergy

By Dr. Roland Roesch, Deputy Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Center (IITC)

Productive uses of renewable energy play a pivotal role in accelerating sustainable development. Energy produced by renewable sources enhance productivity and enable more opportunities for income generation in agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors. Moreover, it can significantly improve social welfare improving education and healthcare services.

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Especially in rural and remote areas, promoting productive uses of renewable energy is key for sustainable energy access. Revenues generated from productive uses will enhance the customers’ ability and willingness to pay for energy and, therefore, improve the financial viability of the projects in the long run. The projects with stronger financial profiles can promote the deployment of decentralized renewable energy systems which will produce economic, social and environmental benefits. In Tanzania, for instance, a rural bioenergy project in Sao Hill aiming to produce solid biofuels and install a 10 MW co-generation plant, significantly contributed to the sustainable development of the community. The efficiency of charcoal production was doubled, and the productivity of local industries was significantly promoted with the reliable energy services.  The project created 50 permanent jobs and generated new income for local farms and sawmills. In addition, replacing traditional low-quality firewood, it fostered a better environment for health and education, and reduced deforestation.

However, despite the benefits of employing renewable energy for productive uses, the level of progress of renewable energy deployment in rural and isolated areas has not come up to expectations. Project developers are often faced with barriers in access to low cost capital for the projects due to a lack of awareness and limited technical expertise. To address these issues, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has developed a suite of project facilitation platforms where project developers can learn how to secure financing more efficiently and build stronger project portfolios. The IRENA Project Navigator, one of these project facilitation platforms, provides project developers with a detailed guidance including case studies and practical tools which they can easily apply to their own projects.

IRENA Global Bioenergy Supply and Demand Projections (2014) estimated that total biomass supply potential worldwide could range from 97-147 EJ per year by 2030. However, significant potential for productive uses of bioenergy remains untapped in rural and remote areas. Byproducts from forestry, wood processing and agriculture are being wasted in many small islands and rural areas, leading to a loss of materials and an increase in methane emissions. Producing sustainable biofuels from these wastes for productive uses will foster economic growth and promote social welfare in the towns and islands with substantial biomass resources.

To accelerate productive uses of bioenergy in rural and isolated communities, the IRENA Project Navigator will launch its Technical Concept Guidelines for Small-scale Projects based on Solid Biofuels from Woody biomass on January 2019, complementing the existing module on woody biomass projects. This will be particularly beneficial for project developers in locations where resource availability or demand levels do not meet the necessary levels for a large-scale project.

The upcoming Guidelines will accelerate deployment of proven bioenergy technologies which can drive more business opportunities and social development in rural areas. The Guidelines will address technical, organizational, environmental, economic and financial aspects of the development of a small-scale bioenergy project, covering feedstock options, technology selection, supply chain, bankability requirements and other relevant issues. Project developers can easily learn how to develop bankable project proposals using the IRENA Project Navigator’s templates, checklists and models. For further information on the Guidelines, please access the IRENA Project Navigator.

 

OCEF launches a new call for proposals to increase electricity access in Benin

Since mid-2017 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) off-grid electrification effort has been made to support the development of clean and efficient energy solutions where traditional distribution channels do not exist in Benin.

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To this end, the Off Grid Clean Energy Facility (OCEF), a challenge fund which provides grant financing to proven, sustainable off-grid clean energy projects has been established in Benin. OCEF grant fund is available to support business plans for sustainable off-grid electrification efforts. In February 2018, OCEF launched a first Call for Proposals (CfP) by announcing the availability of 12 million USD of grant funding for rural electrification solutions in Benin. Some 39 applications were received for the first and third window mainly. A total of 10 project proposals have been provisionally selected among which 2 were placed on the reserve list. The 10 project proposals are still under review; the project developers jointly requested 14 million USD for OCEF support and proposed 23 million USD of own contributions towards the realisation of their business plans.

With the recent adoption in October 2018 of an off-grid policy, strategy, regulatory framework and master plan by the Benin’s government, OCEF launched a 2nd round of CfP.

The 2nd CfP includes rural electrification activities under four windows:

  1. critical public infrastructure such as street lighting, electricity for public institutions;
  2. mini-grids in off grid areas further than 7 km from the national grid, as presented in the master Plan for Rural Electrification;
  3. household energy systems; and
  4. energy efficiency measures that improve national grid performance.

A total of 20 million USD is available in the form of grants to support project proponents to develop and operate a sustainable off-grid electrification activity in Benin. The Off Grid Clean Energy Facility invites project proponents to submit their proposals by March 8, 2019.

The call for project proposals is open to national and international private companies, NGOs, public entities, community organisations, energy efficiency project promoters and other institutions. The selected project developers are expected to begin implementation in 2019 and are expected to be operational within a 24 month period.

For more information on the call for proposals, visit the website www.ocef.bj

 

Prototyping to make energy more productive

Energy use needs to go beyond lighting homes, charging phones and powering household appliances. Growing rural economies requires energy for ‘productive use’ (PUE) to power local businesses and drive agricultural production. Contributing to the current work on PUE, the Energy Change Lab is prototyping PUE in Tanzanian villages to produce practical key insights and pointers for going forward.

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Recently, the Energy Change Lab invited entrepreneurs, mini-grid developers, government representatives and finance institutions to evaluate two prototypes for fostering PUE. These small interventions testing a workable approach, consisted of a specific training program for local entrepreneurs, and another approach to PUE appliance distribution and after-sale services.

Out of this learning event came a range of recommendations, underlined by the main stakeholder groups. First of all, for creating a sustainable energy system, mini-grid companies arriving at a new site need to integrate PUE from the start. Eco Matser from Hivos explained that this means “making a demand analysis and a business model based on the local context, when setting tariffs.” Moreover, a detailed study must be conducted during the mini-grid design phase to establish what types of businesses need to be connected.

Secondly, providing tailor-made finance to local entrepreneurs is needed. ”Despite a PUE appliance payment plan, some entrepreneurs still found it hard to raise the required upfront payment, said Tanzanian country coordinator Sisty Basil. Village community banks and microfinance institutions need to unlock financing for these entrepreneurs.

From the prototypes, it became clear that the most effective way to connect with local entrepreneurs is through a combination of equipment training and practice. Creating a conducive PUE environment also entails having longer warranty periods and providing user manuals and multimedia instruction in local languages to guarantee proper usage of appliances. Likewise, mini-grid developers wish to ensure that the appliances, such as milling and welding machines, are compatible with the mini-grid capacity.

Lastly, it was underlined again how on the overall level it is crucial for all actors to plan energy services and productive use as a catalyst for rural development and increased income generation. Establishing multi-sector platforms for collaboration and information sharing, as was initiated by the Energy Change Lab, is a useful starting point.

The PUE work is an activity of the Energy Change Lab, a multi-stakeholder initiative founded by Hivos and IIED, which aims to generate new thinking, explore complex ideas and develop innovative solutions in the energy domain.

 

Productive use of energy – Pathway to development?

Should energy development projects support productive use activities, and how should they go about it? Many projects and programmes are based on the expectation that productive use of energy will create value – for example in the form of increased availability of goods or higher incomes – thereby having a positive impact on local livelihoods. However, surprisingly little evidence is available to support this fundamental cause-effect relationship.

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Drawing on its experience supporting small-scale renewable energy projects in over 20 developing countries, researchers from the WISIONS programme in Wuppertal Institute recently set out to understand whether productive use activities always translate into positive development effects, and what are the key factors at play.

Their findings suggest a strong link between improving access to sustainable energy services and the emergence of productive activities. The risks here are relatively low and manageable: to ensure success, productive uses need to be integrated in the energy project from the early planning stages, local demand and/or access to market channels is to be available, and the activities need to fit the local social and cultural context.

When it comes to the link between productive use and increased income, new jobs, or a stronger local economy, the evidence is not always clear-cut. The work of the WISIONS’-supported micro-hydro practitioners (HPNET) network indicates that access to markets often proves to be a critical barrier, for different reasons. For example, creating the link between production and marketing is often not possible within the short time frame of a project. In privately owned models, developers may not have the necessary capacity to address an entire value chain.

In the case of employment impacts, the evidence suggests that these are also only observed in the presence of quality capacity building. In this context, WISIONS recently supported an exchange of knowledge about PUE among micro-hydro practitioners in South/South East Asia. Another crucial aspect is equity: successful projects ensure new productive activities do not simply benefit those that are better off at the expense of the poor losing their income and employment. For example, a WISIONS-supported project promoting PUE for micro-hydro projects in Nepal focused on empowering marginalised market actors.

Systematically reviewing the effect between energy access, productive uses and socio-economic impacts provides key insights for understanding how developers and financial players can best go about “seizing the energy access dividend”.

This and many other insights are the result of systematic ex-post evaluation of over thirty small-scale projects spanning the last 8 years.

Watch the video about the nexus between productive use and sustainability of micro-hydro plants in Asia.

To learn more about the work of WISIONS visit www.wisions.net

 

Bringing solar powered mini-piped water pumping schemes to rural Uganda

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Compared with the 10 litres of water per day people in developing countries are using - the Europeans use approximately 140 litres per day. Giving communities the access to water is improving lives and health for the people in Uganda. If water is continuously supplied, it promotes the social and economic well-being of the whole community. Particularly it is the provision of clean, safe, affordable and reliable water - 24 hours a day due to storage tanks.

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Especially in remote areas the pumping of water for drinking (and e.g. irrigation) is helping the people to manage their lives more easily. People can save their time, spent in collecting and transporting water, by going to work and / or going to school. They are closer to the water points and don’t have to walk the long distances. In addition, they are more protected against diseases. Also, farmers can cultivate their crops easier on multiple fields throughout the year. The Organisation Water.org speaks of 24 of the 35 million people lacking access to safe water in Uganda.

Project Brief

During the last years we installed 29 Solar Powered Mini-Piped Water Pumping Schemes in various regions through the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda and we are currently implementing further 22 sites.

The layout of each scheme is designed individually depending on the borehole depth and power demands of the pump. The power is 100% generated by PV modules. A typical setup is between 5 up to 30 kWp per system. All sites are designed to allow hybrid operation in case of grid expansion or backup generator.

With the solar water pumping scheme, safe water is provided and stored in tanks from 10,000 up to 40,000 litres. Herewith continuous water supply, with zero emission of greenhouse gases, is guaranteed.

Our main objective is to deliver reliable PV water schemes to rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using clean solar energy on our installed schemes, we are pumping throughout the day. The water is stored in the tanks to deliver the required water volume 24 hours a day. With this opportunity and our proposed solution, we meet the demand of the community. Furthermore, water outtake can optionally be monitored by a dispenser system (using tokens or tags).

 

Rural electrification & economic development

At least 1,000 kWh per year per household of dependable energy is required to sustain economic development in rural communities. Such generation from renewables in local micro-grids, is used primarily for reliable lighting, better healthcare and education, clean cooking, more productive farming and small-scale industries.

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In the context of maximising economic development of rural communities, we outline here a radical proposal which may be of interest to community leaders as well as to providers of technology, finance and local support services.

A radical proposition for rural electrification

The International Energy Agency recently stated: “By 2030, 600 million of the 674 million people in the world without access to electricity will live in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in rural areas.” Economic development requires at least 1,000 KWh/year/household of dependable energy - we aim to help to deliver this challenge. The energy will be generated locally for:

  • Reliable lighting,
  • Better healthcare and education,
  • Clean cooking,
  • Improved farming productivity,
  • Small-scale industries.

Smart microgrid controller for rural electrification

Consumption of 1,000 KWh/year/household requires generation of about 50 KW for a community of 100 households, rising to 5 MW for communities of about 10,000 households. Such generation is best served by a hybrid of renewable and dispatchable generators, combined with energy storage. To maximise efficiency, such installations are controlled by a smart microgrid controller (SMC).

We will provide SMC free-of-charge for most installations. Critically, the SMC will also enable communities to optimise their energy production, while minimising their costs, and maximising provision of services locally - all for the benefit of their economic development. Such an SMC needs to:

  • Be policy-based to enable adaptive behaviour to dynamically manage scarce generation, according to the priorities set by the community,
  • Work well with all kinds of generator, including those already installed,
  • Be reliable to internal failures and resilient to external interruptions,
  • Be scalable in size and extensible in capabilities,
  • Be versatile for existing needs and adaptable to future needs,
  • Be accessible for local users and secure against unauthorised use.

Call for action

The World Resources Institute confirms that by 2040, in sub-Saharan Africa, 140 million people could generate electricity for economic development via up to 200,000 micro-grids, each providing less than 10 MW of power.

Our SMC, and our business model, focus on maximising economic development for rural communities. We are the owners of our company, so we are free to act as we wish, for the benefit of such rural communities.

We wish to engage with potential partners for this mission, particularly:

  • Financiers wishing to invest in such economic development,
  • Technology development partners, who could be commercial enterprises or university departments,
  • Delivery partners to add appropriate expertise,
  • Politicians to help to enable economic development of rural communities, and
  • Early-adopter customers.

If you are interested to join us in this mission, please visit www.smartermicrogrid.com or contact Bob Carnell directly at bob@distgen.com.

 

Solar Village: Let’s search for a brighter tomorrow

Solar Village Search Engine is a crowdfunding tool that funds solar projects in rural villages in India. Using revenue generated from sponsored advertisements, the Solar Village Search Engine for the installation of solar energy systems in villages. By making Solar Village Search Engine their default search engine, users contribute to this initiative through their daily web searches.

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The aim is to solarise 100 villages in Tamil Nadu by 2030. The first Solar Village project has started.

The Solar Village Search Engine is a part of the Solar Village Initiative, which works to alleviate the impacts of inconsistent energy supply — sometimes referred to as “energy poverty” — on rural villages. By providing the means of generating energy locally, the Solar Village Initiative hopes to improve conditions for livelihood, academics, health, and environmental wellbeing.

The solar energy generated is sold to third parties. 10% of this income will go to the village to be spent as they see fit on village development programmes. The rest of the income will go toward funding future Solar Village projects.

“I feel passionately about the ways in which technology can make people’s lives better,” said Martin Scherfler, co-founder of Auroville Consulting. “Solarisaring villages is a clear way in which we can help the environment and help people. This is a passion I share with many people around the world. Using the power of the internet and leveraging a day to day activity such as a web-search, therefore seemed an obvious way in which all those who share my passion could contribute to making a greener world - without any additional cost to themselves! I urge everyone to support the Solar Village Search engine and its ultimate goal of solarising 100 villages.”

The Solar Village Initiative is managed by Auroville Consulting, a unit of the non-profit Auroville Foundation.

More information about the Solar Village Search Engine can be found at www.thesolarvillage.or

 

https://ruralelec.org/sites/default/files/pictures/files/2018-12-11%20-%20Media%20Kit%202019.pdf

  • Over USD 50 million available in next round of IRENA/ADFD Facility funding

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    The IRENA/ ADFD Project Facility is encouraging applications from government-driven development-focused renewable energy projects in this seventh funding cycle. More than USD 50 million is available in total. USD 5 million to USD 15 million in concessional loans is available for each project from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) at 1% or 2% loan rates, to cover up to half of the total project costs.  The seventh cycle deadline for summary applications is 14 February 2019. Visit www.irena.org/adfd for more information on eligibility, the selection process and how to apply. 

    Furthermore, if you are a fund interested in co-funding opportunities for the shortlisted projects through the Facility and/or are a renewable energy expert interested in working to evaluate projects, please email us at  adfd@irena.org

    Deadline: 14 February 2019

  • ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum 2018 (Dakar, 13-15 November 2018)

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    The ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum 2018 (ESEF) was designed to foster concrete progress in the implementation of the ECOWAS region’s ambitious sustainable energy targets. The purpose of the Forum was to facilitate partnerships between ECOWAS policy makers, regional and international development partners, regional and international private sector players, financial institutions, academia and research and civil society representatives that would enable the region to implement its sustainable energy agenda on schedule.

    ESEF brought together a broad spectrum of players from the public, private and non-profit sector, to discuss how to improve the policy and regulatory landscape for private sector investment and foster progress on the implementation of the ECOWAS region's sustainable energy targets.

    ARE was represented by its Vice-Presidents Guilherme Collares (EDP) and Aaron Leopold (AMDA), and Policy & Business Development Manager David Lecoque, contributing to panels on competitive bidding for GMG and on integrated electrification planning.

  • AidEx Brussels (Brussels, 14-15 November 2018)

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    ARE, as well as its Members GFM and Powerblox participated at Aidex Brussels, themed "Revolution in the digital age: safeguarding a future for all. How can technology contribute to a positive social impact?" 

    The two-day exhibition featured more than 200 NGOs, global policy makers and innovative suppliers of energy, water and other products and services.

    As the off-grid Partner of the event, ARE plans to extend the cooperation for AidEx events in Nairobi and Brussels in 2019 by including a pavilion for buyers of solar and off-grid energy equipment to meet suppliers.

  • RES4Africa Program Launch 2018 (Lusaka, 26-28 November 2018)

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    RES4Africa launched its program in Zambia during a two-day regional conference titled “Enhancing non-programmable renewable energy transition in Zambia. Organised in collaboration with many partners, the conference gathered more than 250 participants from international and African stakeholders such as government representatives, international organisations, private sector actors, IFI’s, academia and other institutional actors, and aims to assess progress made, foster further dialogue and discuss best practices for effective renewable energy deployment in the country.

    Zambia, as many African countries, is rich in terms of renewable energy sources, in particular hydro and solar. However, people in remote areas lack access to electricity, with an electrification rate ranging between 4% and 5% in some rural zones. Following the consequences of climate change such as strong periods of droughts, Zambia is looking to differentiate its energy generation mix dominated by hydropower. Renewable energy plays a key role towards the country’s sustainable and reliable energy system, assuring the security and quality of supply.

    RES4Africa’s Zambia Program Launch is designed as a country conference with a regional Southern-African focus, and sheds light on key topics for renewable energy deployment such as policy mechanisms to enhance sustainable and bankable renewable energy projects, technological and technical issues for on and off-grid renewable energy solutions, capacity building and socioeconomic benefits to local economies. The event also enabled dialogue on the deployment of renewable energy solutions in Zambia, and therefore included B2B sessions parallel to the conference, providing the opportunity for local and international companies to connect and foster new business opportunities and partnerships.

    Melina Monjour from ARE spoke in the technical workshop on mini-grid project development about "Decentralised systems & productive use of energy."

  • 3rd Latin American Energy Week, (Montevideo, 10-14 December 2018)

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    The Energy Week supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a space for the exchange of experiences and knowledge of the energy sector, through the generation of business opportunities and project financing.

    This event has become the main energy benchmark in the region with the presence of high authorities from the sector, such as the representatives of the governments of the 27 Member Countries of the Latin American Energy Organization (Olade).

    This year the Energy Week will feature the first Latin American and Caribbean Business Roundtable of the sector. This space will be an excellent opportunity to establish contacts with clients and new partners for future negotiations with the countries of the region. This is a great chance to develop projects and studies that contribute to the progress of the energy sector in the short, medium and long term.

  • India Distributed Energy Forum & Expo (New Delhi, 30-31 January 2019)

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    GOGLA, together with Lighting Asia/India and Ashden India Collective, is excited to announce the India Distributed Energy Forum & Expo, which will take place from 30-31 January 2019 in New Delhi, India.

    The conference is the centerpiece of the India's distributed energy community's efforts to chart the business-driven route to improved energy access, in order to reach the 33 million Indian households that are yet to be electrified. Keeping the private sector at the center of these discussions, the event aims to fuel dialogues around the future potential for the distributed solar market and efficient appliances in India.

    India, with its huge local market along with strong manufacturing capabilities, has the potential to become a global leader for distributed solar energy solutions. The IDEF 2019 will provide a platform for innovative global and local companies to exhibit their product range to more than 250 stakeholders including Government representatives, potential business partners, financial institutions, development partners, and industry practitioners.

  • 4th IOREC (Singapore, 31 October – 1 November 2018)

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    The 4th International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition in Singapore gathered more than 300 high-level policy, intergovernmental, private sector and non-governmental participants from around the world. Delegates shared ideas and insights on the future of standalone and mini-grid renewable energy solutions and are identifying ways to scale-up their adoption.

    Among the central themes in discussion was the challenge of connecting financing and investment with business owners and electricity consumers in developing countries – many of whom lack the resources and experience necessary to successfully secure finance. With standalone and mini-grid renewable energy solutions fuelling new business opportunities and supporting improved livelihoods for both sellers and consumers, participants heard about various perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of a decentralised energy system.

    IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, first highlighted the well-established relationship with ARE to make IOREC and its exhibition happen and then outlined in his opening speech that the business case for off-grid renewables had never been stronger – a fact widely recognised by the private sector, from start-up entrepreneurs to large scale international firms. He stressed that what will bring power to the un-electrified is not development aid, but viable and sustainable commercial activity.

    To power the unelectrified, ARE Executive Director, Marcus Wiemann, stressed that advanced frameworks in terms of appropriate regulations and more de-risking schemes for the private sector are needed to deliver timely on SDG objectives. This was another point the off-grid business community widely agreed on as the conference continued to share experiences and showcase good practices. 

    ARE organised the IOREC Exhibition in parallel with the Conference to give the private sector the opportunity to present their products and projects. Trina Solar, for example, who was among the 12 exhibitors present to showcase their technologies and know-how at the forefront of off-grid renewables, exposed their latest hybrid micro-grid solution for 14 islands in the Maldives. Find out more about the additional exhibitors: FRIEMGFMDRD MyanmarGIZ MyanmarInternational Copper AssociationPlug the SunPractical ActionRahimafrooz SolarSparkMeterStuder InnotecTiger Power and Windkinetic.

    IOREC took place alongside other high-level discussions during the Singapore International Energy Week including the Association of South East Asian Nations Energy (ASEAN) Ministers Meeting, chaired by Singapore and was co-located with the Asia Clean Energy Summit. The key highlight at its opening was the launch of the new floating solar initiative.

    The two-day event was followed by the Renewable Energy Solutions for Healthcare Facilities conference, organised by IRENA and the ADB Energy for All Investor Forum highlighting important trends and best practices in the energy access sector on 2 November.

  • G-STIC 2018: Energy Positive Communities (Brussels, 28-30 November 2018)

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    One of the main conclusions of the energy debate at G-STIC 2017 was: to reach the SDGs, we need to pay as much or even more attention to local energy communities as to the central energy system. Both parts of the system are not to be considered in competitive sense but need to be matched. In this context we define energy positive communities as: neighbourhoods, villages, districts or even cities that are actively involved in the development of their own energy system based on renewable energy and integrated in the broader energy system. The question is not: what is the value of the electricity sold, but what is the value of an additional child educated by providing affordable electricity, what is the value of an additional patient treated in a local hospital by providing reliable electricity. It is about integrating services, services for energy, health, food, water, waste etc

    What is the key success factor for energy positive communities?

    The key success factor for energy positive communities is bringing together two worlds: the world of the big energy infrastructures (based on the national energy plans) on one side and the world of the local energy initiatives on the other side. So, the key questions are:

    • how do the national energy plans take into account those local energy initiatives?
    • how do national energy plans value the local energy services?
    • when and where will those two worlds meet each other physically? 
    • which technologies are necessary to make that match?

    These are the questions that we will discuss at G-STIC 2018. If we do not succeed in answering those questions it will be very hard to achieve a stable investment climate for energy positive communities. It is not an easy challenge but it is a crucial one.

    ARE Policy & Business Development Manager David Lecoque contributed to the debate on critical success factors for achieving impact in local energy communities. In particular, he highlighted how productive use of renewable energy is a driver of economic development in Europe (e.g. LOGiC project) and in Africa.

  • [Invite] Intersolar India: ARE Microgrid Workshop (Bangalore, 13 December 2018)

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    ARE and Intersolar India are delighted to invite you to the ARE Microgrid Workshop 2018 in Bangalore International Exhibition Centre

    The workshop has the following objectives: 

    1. Sharing information on new innovations and digital technologies to bring down technology costs of decentralised renewable energies in India, such as mini/microgrids
    2. Exploring and supporting the link between decentralised renewable energy and job creation in rural areas of India
    3. Promoting business and project development in the decentralised renewable energy sector in India.

    After the workshop, ARE will organise a free networking reception, sponsored by GE and Sterling & Wilson, to promote cooperation between local SMEs and international companies. The workshop is supported by ISA.

    In combination with ARE Micro-grid Workshop, the afternoon of the 13 December 2018 will feature the 1st India-Africa Youth Energy Symposium (IAYES). IAYES is a platform for youth in Indian subcontinent and African continent to deliberate, discuss, design and implement sustainable energy projects to address the energy access issues in their respective countries. IAYES will act as a catalyst for brainstorming and ideating necessary solutions for youth centric energy development in India as well as Africa. 

    Register now and meet Jens Jaeger from the ARE Secretariat.

  • [Invite] 5th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum (Abidjan, 13-14 March 2019)

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    The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is excited to announce that the 5th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 13-14 March 2019.

    The Forum, supported by ECREEE and UNIDO, convenes public, private and other stakeholders with the goal to boost clean energy access globally and in particular in Africa, where 588 million people still lack electricity. To intensify the exchange with players from and outside Africa, ARE will also hold its Annual General Meeting in conjunction with the Forum the day before.

    Building on the success of previous editions, the event will showcase the latest off-grid political and funding initiatives, discuss trends and innovations, and build win-win partnerships through matchmaking.

    Register now and get an early bird discount on the first 100 tickets!

    Sponsorship options:

    We have designed a few sponsoring options, enabling you to be visible in the market, speak at this leading event, have a side event/break-out session on a topic of your choice and/or exhibit. 

    Get a 10% early bird discount on sponsoring options until 28 December 2018! 

  • BNEF: Climatescope 2018

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    Fuelled by surging electricity demand and sinking technology costs, developing nations are today leading a global clean power transition. This marks a remarkable turnabout from a decade ago when the world's wealthiest countries accounted for the bulk of renewable investment and deployment activity. Developing nations at the time were viewed as holding enormous promise only; wind, solar, geothermal and other clean technologies were regarded as too expensive for mass deployment.

    Last year's Climatescope documented how the locus of clean energy activity had shifted noticeably from "North" to "South", from OECD to non-OECD countries. This year's survey goes one step further by illustrating how less developed nations are now very much driving the energy transition.

    Leadership is an elusive quality to quantify. Still, this year's Climatescope offers compelling evidence that developing nations are at the forefront of change toward a cleaner-powered future.

  • IRENA: Policies & Regulations for Renewable Energy Mini-grid

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    The report analyses key policy and regulatory conditions for supporting private sector involvement in the mini-grid sector. These include legal and licensing provisions, cost-recovery and tariff regulation, management of the risks posed by the arrival of the main grid and measures to facilitate access to finance. The analysis finds that not all factors are equally relevant to all types of minigrids, and policy making can benefit from a deeper understanding of various combinations of technologies, delivery models and tiers of access. Accordingly, the report assesses the influence of policy and regulatory conditions on various mini-grid approaches.

  • Rocky Mountain Institute: Closing the Circuit, Stimulating End-Use Demand for Rural Electrification

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    Electrification’s ultimate measure of success in developing nations—and its real contribution—is to both meet basic humanitarian needs and underpin economic development. But most electrification programs focus on expanding supply with limited investment devoted to enabling end uses that drive productivity improvements and meet critical needs.

    In this report, we make the case for a greatly increased focus on supporting demand, outline the key barriers hampering increased use of electricity, and provide a succinct set of recommendations on actions that can be taken to complement the current focus on supply- side solutions.

Please note that views expressed in the Co-Editorial, the In Focus section and the Special Feature of the newsletter, are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect ARE’s opinion.

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