Nairobi, 2 October 2016 – On 30 September – 1 October, International Renewable Agency (IRENA) in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry for Energy and Petroleum and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) successfully organised the third edition of the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference and exhibition was attended by more than 500 participants across the decentralised renewable energy sector including representatives from the private sector, rural electrification agencies, energy ministries, financing institutions and international organisations.

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA: “Access to electricity is a central building block for socio-economic development. It empowers communities to increase income and productivity, gain access to healthcare and education, enhance water and food security, and improve general well-being. Thankfully, a confluence of factors including cost declines and technology innovations, are making it more possible than ever to achieve universal electricity access through off-grid renewables."

In parallel with the conference, ARE organised an exhibition to enable interested parties to showcase their products, projects or expertise. Marcus Wiemann, ARE Executive Director, also shared his expertise on green mini-grids and launched the AEEP Energy Access Best Practices 2016 publication, showcasing concrete projects and programmes from the Energy Access work stream and their stakeholders.

Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director, ARE: “IOREC has again proven to be the key global meeting point for all clean energy access stakeholders from both developed and developing countries, bringing together the public and private sector, as well as academia and civil society. The B2B event, conference and exhibition have each shown the importance of African RE markets and the ability of the sector to deliver on SDG7. Building on this and in order to share best practices, the Energy Access work stream under the Africa-EU Energy Partnership has yesterday launched its new Energy Access Best Practices 2016 publication, showcasing once more the on-going commitment of all solution providers to implement energy access on the ground.”

Leading up to the IOREC conference, ARE, in collaboration with the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), also hosted an Off-grid Matchmaking Event at Safari Park Hotel on 29 September.  The event featured over 230 structured B2B and B2Finance matchmaking sessions, where participants could network and identify business partners and financiers, as well as advancing existing projects at different stages of maturity. The event was complemented by presentations on the business services offered by ARE and the RECP as well as a high level reception.

Michael Franz, Team Leader, RECP:The off-grid sector clearly is the most exciting energy market in Africa at this point. It was truly inspiring to witness stakeholders come together and discuss how to move policy frameworks as well as business development and investment forward. The ball is now also in our court to support this further to the best of our abilities, together with our partners such as ARE and with the support of our donors.”

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