Closing the Data Collection Gap

I am just back from the the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) which took place last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme was “Taking the Next Step: Africa and the EU are tackling energy challenges together”. I had hoped to send an entry while there but there were too many interesting people to talk to and the time just slipped away.

REN21 was there to participate but also to host a couple of side-events, one of which was on the challenges of closing the data gap. Despite being held just prior to the High-Level Meeting the event was well-attended and the lively discussion illustrated just how important/difficult/frustrating the issue of data collection is. The participants were from NGOs, research institutes, government and business with the result that the session was not one of finger pointing (as to who was at fault for not leading the data collection “brigade”) but rather an energetic discussion about how to close the data gap. We grappled with what we mean when we say “data” and who should engage in the process. Two key points came out of the discussion. Continue reading “Closing the Data Collection Gap”

Importance of Data Collection

As some of you know, REN21 specialises in collecting data on the current state of renewables. We do this as you can’t make good decisions without knowing the “who”, “what “and “how” of the current situation. Reliable information helps investors, decision makers and project developers define possible opportunities for renewable energy uptake. Sound data informs policy design and adaption efforts and allows decision makers to assess progress towards (or regression from) energy access objectives. Businesses and developers need to know the potential of a country or region before any money will flow: thus good information is crucial to stimulating economic development.

This year, in addition to its annual Renewables Global Status Report, REN21 is working with the ECREEE to prepare a regional status report on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the ECOWAS region. Continue reading “Importance of Data Collection”