Data’s Huge Potential to Drive Down Off-Grid Project Costs and Scale Rural Electrification

Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director, ARE

REN21’s New Report Sheds Light on Renewable Energy Developments in Asia

On 22 October in Seoul, REN21 launched its newest Regional Status Report, the 2019 Renewable Energy in Asia and the Pacific. This report was a key input into this year’s International Renewable Energy Conference, KIREC Seoul 2019, jointly hosted by the government of the Republic of South Korea and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. KIREC was a big success, where we were happy to gather as a community and connect with stakeholders like ARE. Convening as a community is crucial to keeping a pulse on new developments and emerging trends, allowing us to collect data and information central to making decisions that drive the energy transition.

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Home to a majority of the world’s population, the Asia-Pacific region is crucial to the success of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve sustainable economic development goals and to avoid a climate emergency. This vast and diverse region is experiencing rapid economic and population growth and is fundamental to the renewable energy transformation. 

Our inaugural Asia and the Pacific Renewable Energy Status Report provides a comprehensive overview of renewable energy developments in the world's largest and fastest growing region. The report covers 18 countries which together account for 45% of global CO2 emissions and 38% of global primary energy supply. These selected countries represent five key sub-regions:

  • Northeast Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea);
  • Central Asia (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan);
  • South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka);
  • Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam) and
  • The Pacific (Fiji, Tonga).

Renewable energy capacity in Asia has increased six-fold since 2000, and the many economic developments occurring in the region contributes to its increasing energy demand. Although Asia and the Pacific region is a renewable energy leader worldwide, the deployment of renewables continues to lag behind that of traditional energy sources in supplying the region's rapidly increasing energy needs.

Good data is crucial for sound reporting and decision-making. REN21’s publications are based on collective and collaborative data collection processes that help us address these data gaps. We have built a data culture that relies on the expertise of our international community, which includes renewable energy contributors, researchers and authors.

The objective of this report was to consolidate disparate data from the Asia and the Pacific region. Asia and the Pacific’s rapid development, large size, growth and diversity has led to data gaps and data-related challenges–such as difficulty comparing data across countries, lack of investment data, non-availability of data on renewable heating, cooling and transport—until now, making it difficult to envision a clear picture of what is happening in the region.

Read the report to learn about renewable energy trends and markets, energy access, policies and investments. 

This report is part of the regional report series produced by REN21.

You can download the report here:


Decentralised Solutions will be Central to Triple the Rate of Progress of Electricity Access in Africa

Many parts of the world have made solid progress in expanding access to electricity and clean cooking in recent years, yet in Africa, persistent lack of access in many countries continues to act as a brake on development, with important economic, health and environmental impacts. The International Energy Agency has a long history of assessing the energy access deficit and charts a pathway to achieving universal access by 2030. Over the past two decades, we have tracked energy access, notably through the pioneering World Energy Outlook series. More recently, the Africa Energy Outlook 2019 analysed in detail the present status of energy services in Africa and the outlook for the continent.

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Our latest country-by-country data indicates that the rate of progress in electricity access in Africa has accelerated since 2013, outpacing population growth. While the majority of recent progress has been through grid connections, decentralised systems are increasingly important: around five million people gained access through solar home systems in 2018, up from only two million in 2016. Several countries, such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal, appear on track to reach full access by 2030. Nonetheless, progress is uneven in Africa: 600 million people remained without access in 2018, with access rates below 25% in several countries. Current and planned policies are insufficient and without additional efforts 530 million people in Africa would remain without access to electricity in 2030.

Achieving full access by 2030 requires tripling the average number of people gaining access annually. Geospatial analysis developed by the IEA in collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, highlights the least-cost way to do so: promote both centralised and decentralised solutions in parallel, with the optimal mix for each area depending on local geography, population density, technology costs, existing infrastructure and resource availability. As such, mini-grids and stand-alone systems are the least-cost solution to provide power to more than half of the population who should gain access by 2030 or around 450 million people.

Figure: Electricity access solutions to provide universal access by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa

Transforming this potential into real deployment will require well-defined and transparent government planning integrating all solutions, with an assessment of investment needs and clarity on the roles of different actors. Cross-sectoral planning and co-ordination between relevant sectors to support the deployment of energy-efficient appliances and productive uses will also be necessary to broaden access to affordable and impactful electricity. Several countries, including Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, developed comprehensive long-term strategies: learning from these and extending progress in other countries will be crucial if the provision of modern energy services to all sub-Saharan African citizens is to be achieved.


Big Data is Driving Results-Based Financing for Off-Grid Energy

Data and technology are transforming off-grid energy financing, unlocking new opportunities to design large-scale financing programs that are directly tied to electrification results. This past Saturday marked one of the sector’s biggest milestones; the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) celebrated the commissioning of its first mini-grid site to be financed by results-based financing (RBF), through its Performance-Based Grants programme. Powered by the Odyssey platform, NEP is proving that new technologies and big data solutions can enable efficient results-based financing, with per-connection subsidies deployed only after established proof that customers have been connected to reliable power.

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Odyssey is a big data platform that processes and analyses billions of data points across varied data streams – mobile applications, smart meters, solar home system platforms, billing systems, and more – and across varied organisations, technologies, and geographies. The platform makes large volumes of distributed energy data accessible and useable for the purposes of administrating financing programs – particularly those focused on tracking results.          

The World Bank and the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) are leveraging Odyssey’s technology to solve one of the key challenges of implementing a large-scale RBF program like NEP: verifying connections without incurring prohibitive administration costs or lengthy review processes. Manually processing thousands of documents and traveling to every mini-grid and solar home system site to verify connections in person is infeasible. To address these challenges, NEP uses a set of digital tools in the Odyssey platform to rapidly collect data and documentation associated with applications to the programme and to process resulting project deployment information.

Credits: Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency

Credits: Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency

Furthermore, with the advancement of smart metering technologies, the Odyssey platform verifies customer connections through remote monitoring of mini-grids and solar home systems. Odyssey integrates with smart meter and SHS application programming interfaces (APIs) to collect granular data on customer consumption and payments, enabling the platform to automatically confirm if a customer is receiving power at specified reliability levels. This technology limits the number of in-person site verification visits to a smaller sample of random audits, obviates manual processing of documentation, and ensures that all data is protected in a central and highly secure database. Odyssey automatically generates dashboards and analytics on connections results to transparently monitor the programme’s effectiveness in real time.

As numerous other governments and donors gear up to support RBF schemes, the entire sector is watching NEP with great expectations and anticipation. As a pioneer in results-based financing, NEP is paving the way for governments around the globe to implement innovative and streamlined approaches underpinned by advanced big data solutions.


Electricity & the Internet: Two Markets, One Big Opportunity!

The markets for rural energy access and internet connectivity are ripe for disruption – and increasingly, we are seeing the benefit from combining both offerings. Today, new business models are emerging, breaking market barriers to jointly provide energy access and broadband connectivity to consumers.

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As highlighted in our business model, access to internet has the potential to boost growth, expand economic opportunities, and improve service delivery. The digital economy is growing at 10% a year - significantly faster than the global economy as a whole. Growth in the digital economy is even higher in developing markets: 15 to 25% per year.
To make sure everyone benefits, access devices and coverage needs to be extended to the roughly four billion people that still lack access to the internet. In our prototype, NetPoints has recently tested its products (industrial panel PCs and energy efficient low energy PCs that could be delivered by solar without any excess energy consumption) to provide internet to remote populations. But as cool as our solution might sound, these innovations do nothing for the one billion people who still live off the grid… and do not have access to the electricity you need to use the internet in the first place! The findings of the Internet Inclusion strategy is put this nicely: “without electricity, internet is only a black hole”.
That’s why efforts to expand electricity and broadband access should go hand in hand: close coordination between the energy and ICT sectors is probably one of the most efficient and sensible ways of making sure rural populations in low-income countries can reap the benefits of digital development. This thinking is also reflected in a new generation of disruptive ICT infrastructure projects.

The challenge? People who lack both electricity and internet are often overlooked by traditional operators because they are typically considered either too remote or too poor. Several smaller players are now stepping in to serve these neglected segments of the market and challenge the way internet and electricity are delivered.
In addition to offering electricity in a new way, Distributed Energy Service Companies (DESCOs) should start bundling pay-as-you-go solar electricity and mobile or Wi-Fi services. For example, we have partnered with MTN, Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications company, to integrate GSM, mobile money systems and financial platforms that allow customers to rent-to-own solar home systems, appliances and pay for electricity through mobile phones. Better harmonisation between internet providers and power companies will go a long way in addressing the rising demand for high-speed internet and reliable electricity. With support from investors, our team is working with ICT and energy experts across our network to support our disruptive business models, including most importantly those that bundle energy and internet access.

ARE Member Hydrobox Wins EDF Pulse Africa Award for Most Innovative Off-Grid Electrification Model

The prestigious EDF Pulse Awards, brainchild the leading European utility group EDF, aims to recognise and support African Innovators in finding and developing home grown solutions to African energy challenges.

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The 3rd edition of the EDF Pulse Africa awards was launched in May 2019 attracting applications from over 530 SME’s spanning 26 African countries. ARE Member Hydrobox was first shortlisted as one of nine finalist and ultimately took home the podium price for most innovative off-grid electricity production model.

Following an intense week of coaching in Paris, the process culminated in the Award ceremony on 21 November 2019. The jury was particularly convinced by Hydrobox’ model of standardised small hydro power, using an affordable and low environmental impact set-up whilst leveraging technology such as smart sensors & artificial intelligence for remote monitoring, predictive forecasting and ultimately remote control to create life changing societal impact.

For the residents of Muranga County Kenya, dismal electrification rates have resulted in half of the county’s residents living without access to electricity, despite the region being richly endowed in hydropower potential.

Through their local subsidiary Magiro Power, Hydrobox initially stepped in to solve this energy access challenge with a 71 kW pilot plant enabling the electrification of more 3,500 individuals and spurring economic development for 22 rural villages in Muranga County.

The team is currently scaling up their impact in collaboration with the Kenyan Government to produce 500 kW of additional power by 2021 and if the funding can be secured up to 1,500 kW by 2022 through affordable, reliable and sustainable access to energy for businesses and households in a county where agriculture is dominating the economy.

Community Micro Hydropower Generation in the Hispaniola Island: Sustainability & Challenges

In the Dominican Republic and Haiti, community micro hydropower generation has turned into a cost-effective alternative to provide electricity to isolated rural communities. Since 1998, when the first system was installed, this kind of energy has been chosen as a solution for lack of electricity in mountainous areas where rural communities have access to feasible water sources.

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More than 55 community micro hydropower systems are now working in the island, completely managed by local organised groups, both from technical and administrative point of view. With more than 1.4 MW of installed capacity, over 5,000 users and 20,000 people receive direct benefits. The process also allows people to produce environmental benefits, at local as well as global scale: more than 7,000 hectares of land are conserved and/or reforested, while over 25,000 tonnes of CO2 are avoided and/or absorbed each year, significantly contributing to climate change mitigation.

The success of these initiatives is only partly due to the provision of electricity, which undoubtedly produces an improvement of living conditions and human index of people, guaranteeing access to technology, better communication, cleaner environments, and more time for other activities. Nevertheless, the key factor of change is the engagement of local people in the process, which implies the strengthening of their human and social capitals and indeed constitutes the essence of the process.

In fact, during all the phases of project implementation, beneficiary people take part actively in the actions, according to their own attitudes and skills. In this way, at the end of the project, they are able to manage the system and, above all, develop further initiatives autonomously.

Community micro hydropower generation has proved to be an integral intervention, which promotes sustainability, based on the following elements: multi-stakeholder synergy, forest conservation and watershed management, decentralised generation, energy efficiency, productive use of electricity, capacity strengthening, local empowerment, replication and scaling up, incidence on policy and planning.

Future development implies the need of facing some important challenges: define mini hydropower potential at national level; spread a vision of integral development; strengthen public-private-community alliances; applicate incentives for renewable energy; facilitate local communities and local initiatives access to carbon market; promote better management of funds at local community level; design and implement climate change adaptation solutions, with special focus on extreme drought.

  • GET.invest Launches Mozambique Country Window

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    It’s official: GET.invest has kick-started its first country window to support renewable energy projects and businesses in accessing finance. Specifically funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Mozambique and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the country window is part of the European Union’s PROMOVE ENERGIA programme in Mozambique – a comprehensive strategy to support access to sustainable and affordable energy in rural areas.

    PROMOVE ENERGIA’s first phase, including the GET.invest country window, was launched on 20 November 2019. More than 100 key stakeholders of Mozambique’s renewable energy sector attended its inauguration, hosted by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy in Maputo, with high-level speeches by representatives of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Delegation of the European Union, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and GIZ Mozambique.

    Following the launch event, GET.invest embarked on its country window activities on 21 November 2019 with a dedicated private sector day for businesses looking to become active in renewables, jointly organised with the Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa). More than 75 participants learnt about the support available from GET.invest and EEP Africa, as well as the business associations AMER and ALER. Brainstorming sessions around the focus of GET.invest activities in relation to market information, regulatory framework and support to business and project developers were followed by practical guidance on how to prepare successful applications for support and funding.

    Both the launch event and the private sector day marked a great start for GET.invest’s first country window. Activities will mirror those of the global GET.invest programme – supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria – with a focus on Mozambique. Currently, planning is ongoing for an Investment Forum 2020 in Maputo to mobilise investments for decentralised renewables. More information will be available on the website of GET.invest soon.

  • Endorse or Commit to ARE’s Consumer Protection Principles for Clean Energy Mini-Grids

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    With the recognition that the mini-grid industry understands the value of consumer protection principles both for their business and to respect vulnerable consumers in often poor and remote villages, ARE supported by the Africa Minigrid Developers Association, Smart Power India, and Swedfund - the funder of the initiative, launched its global Call to Action for mini-grid companies to support the introduction of Consumer Protection Principles for Clean Energy Mini-Grids (CPP) at the:

    We have received a good level of support from companies in Asia and Africa. The first consultations show that the initiative is well on track and that ARE has spotted a topic of great interest for the sector that will need more attention and support in the future. To enter into the implementation phase next year and in order for companies to benefit from capacity building support, we need more players to sign by committing or endorsing to the CPP. The principles are not legally binding but will help drive the further implementation of sector regulations and incentives.

    Our Call to Action:

    Mini-Grid companies are invited either to commit or to endorse the CPP.

    Deadline: 15 Dec 2019

    Download the Call to Action

    By January 2020, ARE together with its Partners will identify ways on how to best support the industry with the implementation of CPP. Please share your views with us.

    Contact: Marcus Wiemann

  • Digital Solar & Storage - Innovating the New Energy World (Brussels, 5-6 Nov 2019)

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    Following ARE's contribution to the "Digitalisation & Solar in Emerging Markets" report of Solar Power Europe, which was launched at the event, ARE presented the benefits of using digitalisation to de-risk solar mini-grids at the Digital Solar & Storage event.

    As a spin-off to the 2017 Digitalisation & Solar report, the 2019 report explores the importance of digital solar in new and emerging markets outside of Europe. It shows that digital solar is indeed a key pillar of the global energy transition in all segments of economy and society. This report includes off-grid digital solar technologies and business models such as solar-based microgrids and pay-as-you-go for solar, which enable access to energy in off-grid contexts or regions with unreliable power supply.

    The new publication features case studies from ARE Members AMMP, Blue Solar, Ferntech and SMA.

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • SEforALL Electrification Accelerator: Business to Government Roundtables (Paris, 12 Nov 2019)

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    The meeting hosted representatives from Rural Electrification Agencies of Zambia, host country of next year’s ARE Forum, Niger, Nigeria and Madagascar for targeted round-table discussions on regulatory frameworks, incentives and opportunities for engagement and scale up of off-grid renewables.

    ARE joined discussions to give a private sector perspective on regulatory frameworks, incentives and key barriers for off-grid renewables in Africa. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 15th CLUB-ER General Assembly (13-14 Nov 2019) under the theme of “Socio-Economic Impact of Off-grid Electrification”. The CLUB-ER is the African Association for Rural Electrification.

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • African Investment Forum (Johannesburg, 12 Nov 2019)

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    Key recommendations for speeding up investments in the energy sector in Africa and stimulating sustainable growth and job creation were presented to the annual plenary meeting of the Africa-Europe High Level Platform on Sustainable Energy Investments in Johannesburg last month. Kandeh Yumkella presented the findings to the AfDB President Mr. Adesina, DG DEVCO Commissioner Mr. Mimica, AUC Commissioner Energy Ms. About Zeit and VP EBRD Mr. Rigterink.

    The document is the product of intensive discussions among more than 50 African and European experts in the course of 2019. It covers 11 key areas: starting with policy and regulations; project implementation instruments; financing and fiscal measures and capacity-building to address: the off-grid sector; transmission; traditional distribution; generation; regional integration through power pools; energy efficiency; and clean cooking.

    Outlining the recommendations at the plenary session, held within the framework of the Africa Investment Forum, the document gives clear guidance on to best roll out off-grid solutions by means of mini-grids as well as standalone and lighting-only systems. This document will now provide policymakers with guidance to develop specific, targeted activities on the ground. Following the presentation of the recommendations, attention now turns to the crucial next phase – implementation and, in the words of one member of the platform, the “need to move from words to kilowatts” (Quote from ARE Member Jeffree Rugare, Chief Executive Officer of Global Solar). [Press Release]

    Marcus Wiemann, ARE Executive Director confirms: “I expect that the recommendations report launched at the Africa Investment Forum will be a cornerstone reference for international development and private sector cooperation between the Africa and EU for the new European Commission under the leadership of President Ms. von der Leyen and beyond. ARE is proud to have been selected as the key stakeholder for stand-alone and mini-grid systems and contribute to the report. Considering the industry’s expertise on win-win partnerships and productive uses are key drivers to spur energy access for positive local socio-economic development in Africa.”

    Contact: Marcus Wiemann

  • meetMED Workshop: Mobilising the Private Sector for the Energy Transition in Algeria & in the Mediterranean Region (Alger, 21 Nov 2019)

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    During this sub-regional workshop, ARE shared its experiences with Algerian industries and the main stakeholders of the Maghreb countries on the opportunity to create an industrial association for energy efficiency and renewable energies at national and regional levels.

    This was also the occasion for RCREEE to present the main findings of a study on energy efficiency and renewable energy markets in the Maghreb and Mashreq regions and to share experiences with similar associations in the region.

    Contact: David Lecoque

  • Intersolar India: 3rd ARE Micro-Grid Workshop (Bangalore, 27-29 Nov 2019)

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    Complementing the Micro-grid Pavilion together with Smart Power India and Victron Energy, ARE organised a workshop, sponsored by Studer Innotec, to discuss the role of micro-grids in powering India’s rural economy. 90 participants attended various sessions, which included discussions on Consumer Protection Principles for Clean Energy Mini-Grids, demand-side management and the role of data in micro-grid business models. 

    ARE Board Members Rebecca Symington (Mlinda) and Sukla Chandra (GE Power) moderated at the event while ARE Members, CES-India, Mlinda, Rahimafrooz and Studer Innotec spoke in the various sessions. As a key outcome of the event, ARE received additional endorsements and feedback to help implement its Consumer Protection Principles for Clean Energy Mini-Grids, which were discussed at the workshop with the mini-grid industry. Smart Power India also launched their Micro-Grid Handbook, with high-level representatives from ARE, ISA, Ministry of Power and Smart Power India.

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • ARE Annual General Meeting (Lusaka, 17 Mar 2020)

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    Next year, ARE will hold its Annual General Meeting in Lusaka (Zambia) on 17 March 2020 - the day before the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum.

    The Annual General Meeting is open to Members only.

    Special offer – Enjoy ARE benefits by joining before Christmas and receive a 20% discount for next year’s Membership! [Membership Form]

    Contact: Marcus Wiemann

  • Get Your Early Bird Tickets: 6th Energy Access Investment Forum (Lusaka, 18-19 Mar 2020)

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    ARE is excited to announce that the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia on 18-19 March 2020. The Forum will also highlight the ARE Awards which will feature three new categories (Win-Win Partnerships, Best De-Risking & Financing Scheme and Best Women Empowerment Initiative). Winners get a free ticket (see more and get engaged)!

    EAIF is a well-established political exchange and business event organised by ARE with local and regional partners - aimed at assisting the private and public sector to get up to speed on the latest developments in the off-grid sector and do business.

    The ARE Forum is supported by our long-standing partner GET.invest, a European programme that mobilises renewable energy investments.

    The Forum offers the opportunity:

    • for companies to showcase their innovative off-grid solutions, products and services to investors and partners at our exhibition;
    • for key public sector players to present their upcoming funding and de-risking programmes and policy initiatives;
    • to find your business partners and advance your projects through the B2B matchmaking session;
    • to discuss major sector trends and topics in the off-grid energy markets in Africa, where 95% of the rural population have no access to modern energy services; and
    • to add your experience and proposals to the international dialogue for cooperation.

    Would you like to showcase your innovative off-grid solutions, products and services to investors and partners? ARE offers various opportunities to raise your profile as a key player in the sector. Please have a look at our sponsoring options to find out more. Contact: David Lecoque

    Register before 31 Dec 2019 and get hold of your early bird tickets! ARE Members are entitled to 20% discount. Contact: Ling Ng

  • Call for Proposals: ARE Awards 2020 (Deadline: 17 Jan 2020)

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    ARE invites applicants to submit their project proposals by 17 January 2020

    In order to offer the opportunity to empower the people worldwide to decide the course of their lives through education, health and socio-economic development – universal, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy access for all is essential.

    By organising the Awards 2020, ARE wishes to highlight the clean energy access results achieved by the most passionate and innovative actors in the sector as well as to increase their impact further by sharing latest knowledge to new stakeholders interested to get engaged.

    Attracting more sustainable investments to Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin-America/ Caribbean is key to advance further on SDG 7 that again will spur progress across most of the other SDGs. With this in mind ARE, together with the jury, has adapted the categories for this edition of the ARE Awards.

    ARE will again reward the most effective initiative and/or project implemented with one Award per category. The ARE Awards 2020 Ceremony will take place on Day 1 of the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum in Lusaka (Zambia) on 18-19 March 2020.

    Download the Call for Proposals.

    Contact: Amanda Soler

  • Call for Speakers: 12th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum (Bangkok, 22-23 Apr 2020)

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    Southeast Asian countries will invest $9.8 billion in smart grid infrastructure between 2018 and 2027. The region's development will be propelled by a handful of leading countries that have made smart grid investment a key pillar of their energy futures. By 2027, the largest markets will be Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. The market for microgrids and battery storage in particular will experience high levels of growth as countries seek solutions for remote and island communities. The time is now to position your company for success in this burgeoning market.

    Co-organised by the Smart Grid Observer and ARE, the 12th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum - Southeast Asia,  will bring together thought leaders, utilities, energy providers, project managers and other stakeholders for two days of focused networking and information sharing concerning the latest technological developments, design, implementation and operation of hybrid renewable energy microgrids. The emphasis is on maximising the business case for microgrids, integration of renewable energy, and sharing real-world case studies of both grid-tied and off-grid/remote systems.

    Thailand has been chosen as the country is making a concerted effort to service remote and off-grid locations with solar and other renewable energy resources. The time is now to move toward decarbonising the energy mix in developing regions such as Southeast Asia. Join us in Bangkok next April to see how your company can play an integral - and profitable - role in this seismic energy shift.

    Deadline for Call for Speakers: 27 Dec 2019

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • EU: Scaling-Up Energy Investments in Africa for Inclusive & Sustainable Growth

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    The High-Level Platform for Sustainable Energy Investments in Africa (SEI Platform) was launched at the 2018 Africa Investment Forum following the European Commission's Communication for a new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs.

    Under the leadership and coordination of Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, former United Nations Undersecretary-General for Sustainable Energy, 50 organisations, representing the public and private sectors, financing institutions, international organisations, academia and the civil society from both continents, discussed business and finance models, policy and regulatory frameworks and initiatives to develop Africa-Europe partnerships on sustainable energy, including energy efficiency and the challenge of clean cooking solutions.

    The document outlines recommendations held within the framework of the Africa Investment Forum, where members of the SEI Platform highlighted the potential for renewable energy and regionalisation in Africa. This document will now provide policymakers with guidance to develop specific, targeted activities on the ground. 

  • IEA: Africa Energy Outlook 2019

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    Rapid economic and population growth in Africa, particularly in the continent’s burgeoning cities, will have profound implications for the energy sector, both regionally and globally. The stage is set for a new wave of dynamism among African policy makers and business communities, with falling costs of key renewable technologies opening up new avenues for innovation and growth. Chief among the challenges is providing universal access to reliable, modern, affordable and sustainable energy. How to do this is a crucial component of Africa’s Agenda 2063 strategic framework for the continent’s future and of global Sustainable Development Goals. Realising the potential of the continent’s natural gas and mineral resources presents another key challenge.

    Five years after the World Energy Outlook’s first special report on Africa, the International Energy Agency has updated and expanded its outlook for the continent based on in-depth, data-rich and country-specific analysis. This new report provides important policy insights to help African energy stakeholders achieve the continent’s growth ambitions in a sustainable and inclusive manner. It also explores how the rise of consumerism in Africa might affect global trends.

  • Solar Power Europe: Digitalisation & Solar in Emerging Markets

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    On 6 November 2019 at Digital Solar & Storage 2019, SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force and Digitalisation & Solar Task Force launched a joint report, ‘Digitalisation & Solar in Emerging Markets’, which focuses on the convergence of digital technology and solar in the context of emerging markets globally.

    This report explores the importance of digital solar with a special focus on new and emerging markets outside of Europe. It shows that digital solar is indeed a key pillar of the global energy transition in all segments of economy and society. The report includes off-grid digital solar technologies and business models such as solar-based microgrids and pay-as-you-go for solar, which enable access to energy in off-grid contexts or regions with unreliable power supply. Additionally, it includes on-grid technologies and business models that are interesting for new and emerging solar markets with stable power grids, such as smart data analytics or digital asset management for utility-scale solar power plants.

    The report was produced jointly by SolarPower Europe, with valuable support from ARE, GOGLA and the Energy Web Foundation.

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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