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”

Renewable Energy Contributers Needed!

REN21’s December newsletter is now available. In it you can find out what is happening at REN21 as well as new initiatives, publication and upcoming event posted by its members. REN21 is also collecting data for its Renewables Global Status Report. The 2014 report will also feature a chapter on distributed renewable energy in developing countries. If you are interested in submitting data for your country or region please contact us at: contributors@ren21.net.

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Energy Access for All

Access to energy services is a key development priority. However how a service is accessed and by whom is equally as important. Gender is often the forgotten component in the energy equation.

Men and women typically have different roles in the home and the community, which means that how energy is used varies. For example, energy is used for lighting, cooking, communication (television, radio, cell phones), ironing, heating, cooling, and cottage industry applications such as brewing. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out which tasks fall predominately to women……

Where energy services are limited women’s access—in many regions of the world—is often biomass-based and physically demanding: think about gathering firewood needed for cooking and heating. Moreover the results of these poor energy sources are often unhealthy—contributing to indoor air pollution, burns and injuries or are inferior in energy quality as seen with candles, kerosene or weak lamps for lighting. Continue reading “Energy Access for All”