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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.

Please access the main presentation of the event here: 20151005 SAIREC side event>>

 

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The Vienna Energy Forum was held in Austria on 18-20 June

The Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) takes place every two years. It was established in 2008 by the Austrian Government, IIASA and UNIDO. The Forum aims to explore how energy can contribute to meeting global development challenges, based on the premise that issues such as poverty, climate change, security, health and income are closely linked to the nature, accessibility and affordability of existing energy systems.

This year the forum took place from 18 – 20 June and EEP’s Programme Director Wim Jonker Klunne did participate as a panelist in the panel on public-private partnerships for energy efficiency, which was chaired by Mr. Mark Radka of UNEP. In this session he highlighted the potential for energy savings, efficiency and generation at the government infrastructure level as an opportunity for PPPs. He stressed that financial viability is not enough to get a project off the ground and that the understanding of potential mutual benefits of PPPs is essential.

The Forum did conclude with eight recommendations that will be used as inputs into the ongoing debate on the role of energy for development.

In key message one, the Forum recommends the approval of the SDGs in September by the UN General Assembly, in particular SDGs 7 (access to sustainable energy) and 9 (sustainable industrialization). This message further cites major scaling up of action on the ground as key to the success of the 2015 global development debates.

Key message two links climate action to action on SDGs. This message describes the three major global debates in 2015 as a rare opportunity to link climate action and the SDGs.

Key message three states that two-thirds of energy efficiency potential will go untapped unless effective policies and measures are put in place to allow necessary action and investments.

Key message four underlines that, to meet energy efficiency and renewable energy potential, scaled up action and investments are needed in targeted areas, such as cities, and in key sectors such as industry, transport, power generation and buildings.

Key message five states that the nexus between energy, transport, food, water and health is inseparable is an essential contributor to social progress and human wellbeing, and needs to be approached in an integrated manner for adequate solutions.

Key message six states that greater effort is needed to strengthen the synergies between the three 2030 SE4All goals: (ensure universal energy access, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy).

Key message seven outlines that much of the potential for greater impact in climate and development action goes untapped because of lack of regulatory cohesion and lack of synergy between national and sub- national efforts. This message highlights the need for regional approaches, such as regional centers, on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and cohesive policy actions for lowering transaction costs and promoting economies of scale for regional approaches.

Key message eight states that sustainable energy and women’s empowerment are mutually reinforcing goals and that empowering women to become agents of sustainable energy will be key to achieving truly inclusive and sustainable development.

A full report on the 2015 Vienna Energy Forum can be found at http://www.iisd.ca/energy/vef/2015/html/enbplus93num13e.html.

Africa Clockwise

Our partner in mitigating the climate change, a stand-up comedian Mark Sampson, held a show in Noordhoek as a part of his Cape Town tour on Saturday the 29 of August. The show was about a journey of traveling through West Africa with a truck that runs on 100% of renewable fuels –kids and a wife on board– for 12 months, and awakening the audience to think about their values in their everyday lives.

The family is on a mission attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest journey made on alternative fuel. The journey will continue in October from Liberia, whereof the family  had to pause the travels last year due to the Ebola epidemic.

Read more about the Africa Clockwise -project here>>

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Mark Sampson