Africa is the Place to Be!

Africa   Interested in contributing to REN21’s production of renewable energy and energy efficiency status report for southern Africa?  Let us know by completing this Expression of Interest  form. Don’t forget that the South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) will be held 4-7 October in Cape Town. Applications for hosting a side event at SAIREC are now being accepted – deadline for submissions is 29 May so don’t delay!

If you are more interested in developments in Central and Eastern Europe how about submitting a tender to author, in cooperation with REN21, a status report for the region on renewable energy and energy efficiency?  For more information about the above or to read about interesting activities happening across the renewable energy sector give REN21’s latest newsletter a read.

How People Are Using Solar to Live Off the Grid in the US

Guest contribution by Tim Smith,

For some people, living off the grid is a conscious decision; given the choice between energy independence and an electricity bill, they get all the energy they need from a free, renewable, environmentally-friendly source. For others, living off the grid might be the only choice.

Continue reading “How People Are Using Solar to Live Off the Grid in the US”

An Entry-Level Pay-As-You-Go Lamp is the First Rung of the Energy Ladder

Contribution from Victoria Arch, Angaza Design

What is the role of the solar lantern in energy access? In July of last year, I attended an Engineering for Change Webinar called “Off Grid Technology Perspectives, The Case of the Solar Lantern” that explored this question. The webinar included thoughtful, context-setting presentations from Guarav Manchanda of One Degree Solar, Ned Tozun of d.light Design, and Dr. Harald Schützeichel of Sun-Connect eG. The presentations were followed by a discussion that included an interesting exchange between Dr. Schützeichel and the webinar moderator Russell Sturm, who is Head of the Energy Access Advisory at the International Finance Corporation.

Continue reading “An Entry-Level Pay-As-You-Go Lamp is the First Rung of the Energy Ladder”

All eyes on Lima

The COP20 closed its doors today for good, paving the way for Paris 2015. Negotiators and climate change activists are returning to their homes to carry on the decisions made at in Lima. In the meantime, PowerMundo, one of our project partners, is chasing the ambitious goal to provide sustainable lighting to the most rural, and remote off-grid areas of Peru. While at the COP REEEP’s Director General, Martin Hiller, visited with PowerMundo the outskirts of Lima to see the effects and benefits they bring to these people.

Continue reading “All eyes on Lima”

Climate Compatible Development Thesaurus offers has now more to offer

REEEP (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership) together with the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the operational arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recently launched the Climate Tagger”. The tool automatically scans, labels, sorts and catalogues data and document collections, which help knowledge-driven organizations that address climate and development challenges, streamline sources of information and associate with the wider climate knowledge community.

Continue reading “Climate Compatible Development Thesaurus offers has now more to offer”

Climate Tagger: Automatic Tagging for Climate Knowledge Platforms launched

REEEP (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership) has joined forces with the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the operational arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, to launch the Climate Tagger. This new tool, which automatically scans, labels, sorts and catalogues data and document collections, will help knowledge-driven organizations in the climate and development arenas streamline their information resources, and connect them to the wider climate knowledge community. It is part of a set of “shared tools” of the “Climate Knowledge Brokers Group” – an emerging alliance of around 50 of the leading global, regional and national knowledge brokers specialising in climate and development information.

Climate Tagger is the result of a shared commitment to breaking down the ‘information silos’ that exist in the climate development community, and to providing concrete solutions that can be implemented right now, anywhere,” said REEEP Director General Martin Hiller. “Together with CTCN we’ve gone a long way toward our goals, and have laid the foundations for a system that can be continuously improved and expanded to bring new sectors, systems and organizations into the climate knowledge community.

Climate Tagger is based on the tried and true reegle Tagging API, first introduced by REEEP in 2011 to help its network better catalogue and connect data, and backed by the expansive Climate Compatible Development Thesaurus, developed by experts in fields ranging from climate mitigation and adaptation to economy and green growth, and even specific areas such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

The release of Climate Tagger marks a remarkable step for us in our role as a principal facilitator and promoter of development and transfer of climate technologies,” said Jukka Uosukainen, Director of the CTCN. “Not only will Climate Tagger directly improve the effectiveness of our own knowledge resources, but it will also help our global network to catalogue and connect their data sets together. In the end, it means better collaboration and better outcomes for technology transfer.

The development process drew on the combined expertise and ingenuity of dozens of subject matter experts from the field, as well as the technical knowledge of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which assisted in testing and implementation of the tool. “At the very foundation of sharing knowledge is the need for a common language to categorize information. Climate Tagger is a bridge spanning gaps in language and technology to enable more efficient and accurate sharing of information”, said Jon Weers, who leads NREL’s Open Energy Information platform.

REEEP Director General Martin Hiller and CTCN Director Jukka Uosukainen will be talking about Climate Tagger at the COP20 side event hosted by the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group in Lima, Peru, on Monday, December 1st at 4:45pm.

To find out more about Climate Tagger visit

REEEP invests in clean energy markets in developing countries to lower CO2 emissions and build prosperity. Building on a strategic portfolio of high impact projects, REEEP works to generate energy access, improve lives and economic opportunities, build sustainable markets, and combat climate change.
REEEP understands market change from a practice, policy and financial perspective. We monitor, evaluate and learn from our portfolio to understand opportunities and barriers to success within markets. These insights then influence policy, increase public and private investment, and inform our portfolio strategy to build scale within and replication across markets.
REEEP is committed to open access to knowledge to support entrepreneurship, innovation and policy improvements to empower market shifts across the developing world.

About the CTCN
The Climate Technology Centre & Network facilitates the transfer of climate technologies by providing technical assistance, improving access to technology knowledge, and fostering collaboration among climate technology stakeholders. The CTCN is the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism and is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and 11 independent, regional organizations with expertise in climate technologies.

West Africa: Regional leader on renewable energy and energy efficiency


ECOWAS_cover_with border

The newly released ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report—produced collaboratively by REN21 and ECREEE—provides a regional perspective on the renewable energy and energy efficiency market and industry development in West Africa. Released November 10, 2014, the report concludes that while access to energy services remains severely constrained in the region, renewables and energy efficiency measures contribute to improved access. Moreover, together renewables and energy efficiency are a cost effective solutions for overcoming the diverse array of energy challenges currently facing the ECOWAS region. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

• As of early 2014, installed capacity of grid-connected non-hydro renewable energy provided 39MW grid-connected electricity in the region. While total installed capacity including hydro generated electricity was 4.8GW

• By end of 2014, 13 ECOWAS member states have adopted renewable energy support policies with all member states having at least one policy or one target at the national level, promoting renewable energy technology development.

• Regional new investment in renewable power and fuels from six leading ECOWAS members (Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone) was USD 29.7 million in 2013, down significantly from the peak of USD 370 million in 2011.

• As of 2014, FITs have been adopted by Ghana and Nigeria and are currently being developed in the Gambia and Senegal. Cabo Verde became the first and only country within the ECOWAS region to adopt net metering.

• Renewable energy technologies currently account for an estimated 28.8% of the region’s total grid-connected installed capacity

• Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, and Sierra Leone stood out as regional leaders in terms of the renewable contribution to their final consumption—at 30.3%, 22.4%, and 19%, respectively— largely as a result of their use of modern biomass.

• Hydropower accounted for 16.2% Total electricity installed capacity in Nigeria, 57% in Ghana and also played a relatively significant role in Togo (28.8%), Côte d’Ivoire (28.2%) and Guinea (34.2%). With a region-wide hydropower potential of some 25 GW, only 19% has been exploited as of early 2014

• As of early 2014, population shares using improved biomass cook stoves in ECOWAS were 2.1% in Burkina Faso, 6% in Nigeria, 16% in Senegal, 10% in Sierra Leone and 20% in the Gambia.

• Wind energy provided 27 MW (25.5MW comes from Cabo Verde’s Cabeolica wind farm, sub-Saharan Africa’s first commercial-scale public private partnership.

• Cabo Verde leads with the installation of In terms of installed grid-connected solar PV with 6.4 MW. Ghana has an installed capacity of 1.92MW.

• The region’s use of solar PV technology remains largely limited to distributed and off-grid functions, Senegal leads with installed capacity of 21MW, followed by Nigeria with 20MW and Niger with 4MW.

• As of 2014, 8 member states (Benin, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) have different energy-efficient lighting initiatives.

• Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria have established domestic programmes for energy efficiency in the building sector.

The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report, covers recent developments and trends in the energy sector in the ECOWAS. It uses up-to-date renewable energy data, provided by network of contributors from and around West Africa and is targeted at policymakers, industry, investors and civil society to enable them to make informed decisions with regards to the diffusion of renewable energy By design it does not provide any analysis or forecasts.