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”
REN21 recently participated at the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Investment Week in Accra, Ghana. Coordinated by ECREEE (the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency) this conference celebrated the second year of ECREEE’s RE Investment Initiative. This initiative works to reduce one of the main bottlenecks in region—the mobilisation of investments for RE infrastructure projects. Perhaps the most interesting part of the conference was the ten investor-ready clean energy projects from around the region. The range of project was impressive. Interested in a wave powered desalinisation plant in Cape Verde? How about pay-as-you-go solar technology in Nigeria or the commercialisation of biomass in Senegal? Regardless of geographic or technical preference it is clear that there is a real entrepreneurial drive in West Africa to increase energy access. Securing the necessary financing however still remains a problem. The financial environment is still too risky for most investors and the returns too low. However as presentation and discussions illustrated governments and development banks are stepping into the void; creative solutions are beginning to emerge. It will be interesting to see one year on how well these partnerships are able to fill this important funding gap.