Cape Town, 6 October 2015 - The sixth in a series of International Renewable Energy Conferences (IRECs) and attracting 3,600 delegates from 82 countries, the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) came to a close today. The conference, which took place for the first time on the African continent, was attended by government delegations, business leaders and members of civil society. The aim of the conference was to upscale and mainstream renewable energy in order to achieve a global sustainable energy transition. On the agenda for the first time, was the topic of rural electrification.

With the formal adoption of the SAIREC declaration, clean off-grid and decentralised solutions are finally being recognised as a financially viable alternative for supplying electricity to isolated regions. Addressing the audience in a keynote speech at the “Rural Electrification: Decentralised aspects” session, Ernesto Macias, ARE President said:

“The response has been overwhelming. Having rural electrification finally integrated as one of the core topics of discussion at SAIREC showcases the increasing relevance of decentralised energy supply in achieving Africa’s energy transition. Rural electrification is now being recognised by politicians as a crucial element to realising clean energy access.”

Of particular relevance, the Energy Access Action Plan delivered to the G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group at the G20 Energy Ministers on October 2 in Istanbul lends its support to collaborative efforts such as those of the SE4All Clean Energy Mini-Grids High Impact Opportunity (HIO). The endorsement of the plan comes in a timely fashion with last week’s adoption by world leaders of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG) to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

At the launch of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) and ARE’s latest publication on productive use of energy, Marcus Wiemann, ARE Executive Director, stated: “ARE’s growing membership has proven that with the use of the right technologies, implementing clean energy projects in developing countries is most effective. To enable the integration of productive use of energy solutions into business models, ARE will, together with its members, continue to share lessons learnt and best practices.”


For further information or request images please contact:

Ling Ng

Alliance for Rural Electrification

Communications and Marketing Officer

+32 2 709 55 42