I hope you are all feeling as enthused about Clean Energy at the moment as I am! REEEP’s Project Managers’ Meeting in Johannesburg last week was an exhilarating experience – 32 representatives of 26 projects around the world focusing on everything from energy efficient transport in Jakarta to community participation in power generation in South Africa to innovative finance schemes for electification for base of the pyramid customers in India. Much learning, exchange of views and networking took place. We had a freelance journalist on site so a report will be published soon; I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available.
I’ll get onto the events presently, but just in case you don’t yet know, last month our friends at REN21 published the 2012 edition of their authoritative Global Status Report: Renewable Energy Policy and Market Development Worldwide. It’s a crowd-sourced report – a truly collaborative effort of over 400 contributors and reviewers. If you haven’t seen it then you’ll want to visit their website, where you can download a free copy. And if you happen to be in Brussels on Monday (16th July) there will be a launch event to give European stakeholders an opportunity to hear a presentation of the key findings of the GSR 2012 and engage in an interactive discussion on the state of renewable energy in Europe; sign up here.
RE Investment opportunities for US investors
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and recently approved $175 million in financing for two new investment funds that will bring the latest renewable energy technologies to emerging markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. You can read more about the RE financing here.
For those interested in developing RE back in the US, the West Coast is undeniably the hub of innovative renewable energy technologies, but there remain significant challenges in securing the funding to bring these technologies to market effectively. The 5th Renewable Energy Finance Forum – West (REFF West, 27-28 Sept, San Francisco, USA) promises to equip you with strategies to overcome these challenges and identify a pathway for deployment outside of traditional project finance mechanisms.
Reducing emissions and improving access in South East Asia
One of the REEEP-funded projects I met at the Project Managers’ Meeting is upgrading two rural mini-grids in Cambodia – currently fuelled exclusively by diesel – to hybrid diesel/renewable energy systems that will reduce generation costs and make access to electricity much more affordable. In the village of Chamback, a hybrid solar PV-diesel system will provide 24-hour service to 1000 households who currently only have 10-14 hours of electricity per day, and bring service to an additional 600 households without any access today. In the village of Charchuck, a biomass gasifier will be added to the local mini-grid, powering 500 households, a local hospital and 4 phone relay stations around the clock. These pilots are being implemented by REEEP partner organisation Innovation Energie Développement (IED).
Across the border in Thailand on 30-31 Oct, you can attend Carbon Forum Asia (taking place in Bangkok), which is jointly organized by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and Koelnmesse. It aims to be Asia Pacific’s premier Trade Fair and Conference for Climate and Carbon Finance, Emissions Trading and Low Carbon Technologies, offering the Asia and global carbon, energy and financial community the opportunity to network, develop new business opportunities and stay updated on the most current issues and trends.
Australian government grants for Energy Efficiency
Improving energy efficiency is a central element of the Australian Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future plan. The 63 successful recipients of the first round of its Community Energy Efficiency Program were announced recently. Grants of AUS$42 million will co-fund improvements in energy efficiency across community buildings and facilities including museums, sports centres, art galleries and libraries. One example is Brisbane City Council, which will receive a $5 million grant to assist with a large scale retrofit of 25,000 street lights across the local government area. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said “A program like this, which will enable local government and community groups to improve energy efficiency, is made possible by the carbon price.” Click here to read more and download a list of the funded projects.
To find out what else is going on in Australia and further afield in the region, visit Carbon Expo Australasia, 7-9 Nov, Melbourne, Australia.
REalising potential in West Africa
Schneider Electric is collaborating with government agencies in Nigeria to provide access to renewable energies for communities that are not connected to electricity supply. The Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Abubakar Sambo, stated in relation to the project that the country could generate close to 600,000MW from only one per cent of its land area by using solar photovoltaic panels of only five per cent efficiency. He also stated that such a project would have a four to five year pay-back period (source: AllAfrica).
ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), in cooperation with the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE) and UNIDO, is organizing a three-day High Level Forum on the theme: “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” (29-31 Oct, Accra, Ghana). The event will be hosted by the Government of Ghana, and participants will include ECOWAS Energy Ministers, stakeholders, and other high level international delegates. At the Forum, the “Renewable Energy” and “Energy Efficiency” policy papers will be presented and submitted to the fifteen ECOWAS Energy Ministers for consideration, in view of ratification as regional policy. In addition, the Steering Committee of the energy component of the Strategic Programme for West Africa (SPWA) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will be held and the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency will be launched.
The High Level Forum will be followed by the First International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference for West Africa, 1-2 Nov, also in Accra. Jointly organized by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), ECREEE & IRENA, this event is an official contribution to the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
More on Clean Energy events in two weeks.