SAIREC EEP side event was held in Cape Town on the 5th of October

EEP side event at SAIREC

From 4 – 7 October, the South African Department of Energy and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), supported by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st century (REN21), hosted the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) in Cape Town, South Africa. Approx. 3 600 delegates from 82 countries participated in this event, which was the sixth meeting in the series of International Renewable Energy Conferences (IRECs) building upon successful outcomes in Abu Dhabi in 2013 (ADIREC), New Delhi in 2010 (DIREC), Washington in 2008 (WIREC), Beijing in 2005 (BIREC), and in Bonn in 2004 (Renewables 2004).

At SAIREC EEP organized an official side event with the title “Energy access in Africa: lessons learned and the way forward”. The event took place on the first day between the official conference programme and the gala dinner, in parallel with six other side events.

The EEP event was, compared to the other side events, well attended and received positive feedback of the audience.

The event was opened by H.E. Mr. Petri Salo, Ambassador of Finland in South Africa, after which Mr. John Warburton, the new DFID Southern Africa Climate Change Team Leader, set the scene with an introduction into energy access in Africa and the actions required to reach all currently unserved populations.

EEP Programme Director Mr. Wim Jonker Klunne presented the EEP programme and its achievements, followed by a joint presentation by Mr. Jonker Klunne and Mr. Darius Boshoff on lessons learned from implementing the projects supported under EEP.

After these presentations, Ms. Georgina Ayre, DFID Regional Southern Africa Climate and Environment Advisor, led a discussion panel that reflected on the presentations. The panel consisted of Mr. Aleksi Lumijarvi (IRENA, Programme Officer Renewable Energy Private Sector Finance), Mr. Mark Radka (UNEP, Chief Energy, Climate, and Technology Branch) and Mr. Linus Mofor (UNECA, Senior Expert on Energy and Climate Change).

All three panelists praised EEP for the results achieved and expressed their hope that EEP would indeed be able to advance the sustainable energy sector in Africa through deep dives into the experiences of the projects supported.

Interaction with the audience did see a number of questions being put forward to the presenters and the panelists, as well as some of the EEP project developers standing up and publicly thanking EEP for its support to their respective projects.

The EEP side event was able to showcase the programme to SAIREC participants, while at the same time to re-confirm the relevance of it. The common opinion amongst the panelists and audience was that EEP had a wealth of experiences and knowledge within its portfolio and that we should make this known to the world at large.