Our team from REEEP spend the best part of last week at the Vienna Energy Forum – also hosting the reception on Wednesday evening where apart from our Director General Martin Hiller and Chris Barton (Chairman of REEEP’s Governing Board and Head of International and Domestic Energy Security at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change) we also had the honour of Dr Kandeh Yumkella addressing the audience.
In parallel to the panels and speeches of the conference, REEEP ran a two-day workshop with our project implementers and staff from our Regional Secretariats. For me this was an exiting and very welcome opportunity to get to know the beneficiaries of REEEP funding for clean energy projects. Our last programme call invited proposals that addressed the issues of energy and food, up-scaling of successful business models for renewable energy and energy efficiency and projects that address the provision and innovative use of reliable energy data.
We had prepared posters of each project and the implementers used them to present their projects to one another as well as the attendants of our official reception in the evening.
We discussed the difficulties they encounter, such as
- finding and establishing a sustainable business model based on clean energy
- struggling with unclear and isolated policies and regulations
- finding reliable information and data to make informed decisions
- securing the necessary funding
- overcoming cultural habits
- taking a demonstration project up to the next step and receiving private investment
I was so impressed with these people, who not only have great ideas but also go ahead and implement them in the difficult environments of developing countries – they are the kind of champions we at REEEP seek and support!
While everybody benefited professionally from this meeting, I belief we all also really enjoyed getting to know the people behind REEEP-funded clean energy projects! It was a great opportunity for open exchange at this important conference, and hopefully inspirational for all those who were there!
Many of the project implementers have also agreed to keep me up-to-date with their efforts by providing stories, pictures and videos that I will share with our readers of the reegle blog right here!