19 March, 2021 News

Launch of the National Renewable Energy Associations Toolkit

19 March 2021 – SolarPower Europe and GOGLA launched the NREA toolkit – A Guide for National Renewable Energy Associations. The toolkit was developed with the support of the Transforming Energy Access for Households and Improved Livelihoods Programme (TEA) funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and GET.invest, a European programme which mobilises investments in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. The toolkit was also developed in strategic partnership with the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and launched at the 6th Energy Access Investment Forum, organised by ARE and supported by GET.invest. 

The toolkit provides guidance to existing national renewable energy associations (NREAs) with a comprehensive and practical resource to help strengthen their efforts in supporting the growth of the solar energy sector, and provides guidance to those considering establishing a new NREA. 

GET.invest Team Leader Michael Franz said: “Renewable energy associations are a key element of functioning and sustainable energy markets. Building them in close collaboration with European and domestic associations makes the European partnership with Africa materialise. This is why we are particularly happy to support this work as GET.invest, on behalf of our donors.”

The purpose of the toolkit is to support  NREAs in their activities. These include developing, improving and sustaining their services to their members; investing in practicing high standards of management and good governance; and taking measures to assure their sustainability over the long term. It aims to support NREAs to continue to be strong advocates for the growth of the solar energy sector. 

Information in the toolkit comes primarily from a literature review of business membership organisation or industry association management. It is enriched with practical experiences from the two industry associations, SolarPower Europe and GOGLA. 

Patrick Tonui, Head of Policy and Regional Strategy at GOGLA said: “Maximising contributions and impact by the private sector is a key pillar if the global community is to realize the SDG goals by 2030, including on universal energy access (SDG 7). However, realising a legal, policy and regulatory environment that attracts private sector investment and enables sustainable businesses remains a core hurdle in many countries. Effective national industry associations are a must-have to enable productive public private sector dialogues that recognize constraints and jointly develops winning solutions. This handbook is an effective tool towards building these private sector champions for the renewable energy sector.”

The toolkit is intended to support NREAs as they: 

  • Reflect on their internal and external environments and assess their readiness to contribute to the growing renewable energy sectors in their country. 
  • Design organisational capacity development plans to strengthen their ability to serve their members and the industry and grow institutional resilience and sustainability for the long term. 
  • Regularly review their performance across key topics that influence their performance as NREAs such as: membership development; communications; good governance; financial management and reporting; resource mobilization; advocacy and policy dialogue; and data activities. 

Jens Jæger, Policy & Business Development Manager, Alliance for Rural Electrification said: “The development of national decentralised renewable energy markets is contingent upon further supporting the development of local expertise, companies and stakeholders. By uniting these actors, NREAs play a critical role in catalysing market growth. ARE is happy to further boost its cooperation with NREAs and exchange lessons learnt and best practices with national counterparts. The new NREA Toolkit serves as a useful tool for this purpose.”
Máté Heisz, Director of Global Affairs at SolarPower Europe added: "Business associations are key to supporting the establishment of effective policy and business environments for renewable energy development in every country. We are proud to present this Guide that we hope will be a useful tool for renewable energy associations around the world and will continue our work with our partners to strengthen the voice of renewable energy associations globally."