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Newsletter - December 2014

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Dear Reader,

In November 2014, REN21 celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting the first REN21 Renewables Academy, bringing together REN21 contributors for the first time in one location. Over the course of 2 1/2 days, 150 participants from over 40 countries listened and debated how to advance the global energy transition.
Over the course of the year, REN21 continued to promote the uptake of renewables through its various activities. The REN21 Renewables Global Status Report showcased new developments, particularly the spectacular increase in renewable energy targets and policies in developing countries. The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report presented cost effective solutions for the challenges facing West Africa. The Mini-grid Policy Toolkit, developed with EUEI PDF and ARE, outlined the core elements needed to scale up mini-grids. A 10 year retrospective of the evolution of renewable energy uptake, The First Decade: 2004-2014, charted the progress of the renewable sector, while laying out a path for the coming decade.

Collectively these publications—together with close collaboration with many actors in the sustainable energy arena—helped to spread the message of renewables far and wide over the course the year. REN21’s Annual Report provides a concise overview of what kept us busy throughout 2014.
The upcoming year—2015—is shaping up to be an exciting one. The highpoint will be the South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), scheduled 4-7 October 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. SAIREC 2015 will provide Africa with a unique opportunity to showcase its nascent yet promising renewable energy industry and gain experience from the best practices adopted in countries at the forefront of renewable energy deployment. 
In 2015, REN21 will also continue to expand its regional report series, developing reports that cover East Africa and the SADC region.

I would like to thank our partners for their excellent collaboration throughout 2014. We look forward to working together in 2015 and beyond with focus and dedication towards advancing the global energy transition with renewables!

Happy holidays,

Christine Lins
Executive Secretary of REN21


News from the REN21 Secretariat

REN21 Renewables Academy 2014:
Celebrating a decade of renewable energy progress


The REN21 Renewables Academy was held 10-12 November in Bonn, Germany. Over the 2 1/2 days, 150 participants from 40 countries met to collectively develop new ideas in a creative and informal setting. The programme focussed on key policy drivers needed to advance a global energy transition. Four plenary sessions and six parallel sessions provided a rich, diverse environment for ideas.

People were able to follow the proceedings remotely via YouTube Live and submit questions for discussion. Over the course of the Academy 500 people participated on-line. Evaluations collected from the participants showed the Academy was a resounding success with a request to host the event on a regular basis. Based on subsequent discussions, the Renewables Academy will be held in Bonn, alternating with the IRECs. The next one will be autumn 2016. If you missed the Academy you can access the full event on the REN21 website and see:
  • Video of each session
  • Keynote Speaker presentations
  • Biographies of all the speakers
  • Academy portraits and photos

New Publications

The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report provides a comprehensive regional review of renewable energy and energy efficiency developments, evolving policy landscapes, market trends and related activities, investments in renewable energy and off-grid energy solutions. It was produced in collaboration with the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) as well as UNIDO. The report draws on data from the ECREEE data base (ECOWREX) and a network of over 50 contributors and researchers from across the region. It was also launched by SC member Irene Giner-Reichl at the UNEP en-lighten workshop in Beijing.
The First Decade: 2004-2014 looks at the evolution of the renewables sector globally as well as by geographical regions. The evolution of renewable energy over the past decade has surpassed all expectations. Global installed capacity and production from all renewable technologies have increased substantially, and supporting policies have continued to spread to more countries in all regions of the world. Numerous graphs document the progression of the various technologies. The publication was produced to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of both REN21 and the seminal event, renewables2004. 

The Mini-grid Policy Toolkit was launched 13 October at the Ministerial Conference: "Italy-Africa Working Together for a Sustainable Energy Future" in Rome, Italy at the technical workshop “Dialogue forum with the Private Sector in the off-grid renewable energy market”. Produced in cooperation with EUEI PDF and ARE, the publication is to help to help policy makers navigate the mini-grid policy design process.

The REN21 Annual Report provides a concise overview of REN21’s activities throughout 2014 and provides an outlook on planned work for 2015.


New REN21 members

REN21 is pleased to welcome two new members to its network:
Indian Renewable Energy Federation (IREF)                    
Each organisation brings its own expertise in the field of renewables and both organisations have an extensive collaborating network.  REN21 welcomes them on board and looks forward to their active contribution. 

Internships at the REN21 Secretariat

REN21 is looking for two new interns who are interested in supporting the activities of its Secretariat in Paris. The following positions are open:
REN21 Data/Social Media Internship
REN21  Community Management/Research Internship
Applications should be completed according to the information detailed in the relevant internship application and sent to Closing date is 28 December, 2014. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Call for tender - EAC and SADC Renewable Energy Status Reports

To facilitate the uptake of renewables in Eastern Africa as well as the SADC region, REN21 and UNIDO  have joined together to produce the EAC and SADC Regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Reports. Terms of Reference are available here:
The deadline date for receipt of proposals is: 16 January 2015, 17:00 (CET)

News from the REN21 Network

EU: Leading Global Technology and Innovation in the Renewable Sector

The European Commission Directorate General for Energy is pleased to invite you to EU: Leading Global Technology and Innovation in the Renewable Sector. This event will take place on 19 January 2015 in the framework of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. A panel of high-level speakers will discuss Europe’s leading role as promoter of effective policies and solutions, and the opportunities offered by its industries as providers of advanced technologies for a global low carbon economy.

This event is the first of a set of international gatherings at the European Commission's initiative on renewable energy, in the run up to the COP21 (Paris, December 2015). The European Commission, alongside its international partners, is dedicated to creating a new momentum and showcasing the solutions from the renewable sector as a way to address climate change challenges. The policy framework that the European Union has set for itself, including a binding target of a 20% share of renewable energy by 2020, has proved to be a very effective tool in driving the technology innovation and deployment of renewable sources in the EU. Last October, heads of states and governments of the 28 EU Member States agreed to achieve at least a 27% share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption by 2030. Leading up to 2020, renewable energy should be part of the announced €300 billion Jobs, Growth and Investment Package, confirming the strategic role of renewable energy not only for energy security but also for economic and industrial development.

EU: Leading Global Technology and Innovation in the Renewable Sector will feature:
  • Keynote introductions from high-level representatives of the European Commission
  • Presentations by leading EU CEOs of renewable companies about:
    • EU advanced technologies and best practices that can be deployed worldwide;
    • The integration of renewable energy in urban environments;
    • Success stories from developing countries

New Manual and Tools for Promoting SPIS

The ability to move water is critical for irrigated agriculture. Farmers that are not blessed with a gravity-fed water supply require energy to irrigate their fields. In off-grid locations, this energy need is currently delivered primarily through diesel engines. However, falling PV panel prices and technical advances have triggered a growing interest in resource-efficient solar powered irrigation systems (SPIS). A number of technical cooperation practitioners therefore promote or consider promoting this technology.

To support practitioners in their activities, the BMZ -unded GIZ sectorial project “Powering Agriculture – Sustainable Energy for Food” is funding the development of a Manual and Toolbox with assistance of GIZ HERA. A preliminary study will first review the status quo and potential of SPIS in small- to medium-sized farms (2 – 15 ha). Country case studies will be conducted in Morocco, Kenya, India and Chile. Once the study has been completed a manual and tools will be developed. Technical recommendations for efficient design and operation as well as tools for economic assessment and financial support will be provided. Besides closely considering the interlinkage of energy supply and agricultural practice, the manual will also provide insights into the environmental limits of SPIS. The key challenge is to avoid excessive groundwater exploitation enabled mainly through low operational costs of SPIS.  The manual and tools are expected to be ready for publication by mid-2015. For further information, please contact Caspar Priesemann.

(Photo: Solar water pump in Bihar, India Â© GIZ / Thomas Pullenkav)

ARE Seminar on Business Modelling and Lessons Learnt on Energy Access

The ARE Energy Access Seminar, held at the Portuguese Embassy on 30 September 2014 was for the private sector pioneers and newcomers to learn how to successfully develop self-sustainable business solutions for access to energy and services in developing countries. Organised by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE),  the seminar was designed around making use of existing and upcoming innovative supporting schemes. After introductory presentations from SE4All, Bloomberg Energy Finance and financiers, six experts from IEC, EUEI PDF, UNDP and the ARE Board chaired individual roundtable sessions to share their experiences, exchange and develop business models best applicable to new support schemes. The 90-person seminar followed a two-day EuropeAid Empowering Rural Electrification Workshop aimed at bringing in practitioners' experiences and know-how to a promising innovative and close-to-the-market concept addressing gaps created by market failures in rural electrification.

Accessing Africa's Renewable Energy Market

The Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) promotes market development for meso-scale renewable energies in Africa to stimulate private investment and increase access to modern energy. It assists countries in improving relevant framework conditions such as regulation and capacities and facilitates African-European private sector partnerships in the renewable energy market.

Kick-starting activities for the private sector, the RECP hosted the event "Accessing Africa's Renewable Energy Market" 4 December in Brussels. The event brought together national business associations, business networks and export initiatives representing the European renewable energy private sector. The speakers presented business opportunities and success stories in the African renewable energy sector as well as RECP's scope, activities and services to assist the private sector. For more information on the RECP please visit its site


The 1 Gigaton Coalition launched during COP20 in Lima, Peru

The 1 Gigaton Coalition, has been formed in light of the understanding that many countries have a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and initiatives in place. However, most do not measure or report the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that result. The Coalition believes that, if measured, these reductions would amount to about one gigaton a year by 2020 - showing the savings that can be made and thus encouraging the uptake of energy efficiency policies and renewable energy technologies. Coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Government of Norway, the 1 Gigaton Coalition is a voluntary international framework, with participation open to both developed and developing countries as well as to intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.

UNEP - in collaboration with REN21 - will coordinate the collection of data, produce an annual report, and together with partners will develop a Measurement, Reporting and Verification methodology that is aligned with the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For more information, please contact: Dr. Zitiouni Ould- Dada, Head of Technology Unit, UNEP Energy Branch.

Seeking Examples of Innovation in Power System Transformation

The 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) is compiling a first-of-its kind "Status Report of Power System Transformation." The report is intended to illustrate progress toward, and enhance policy dialogue in support of, power sector transformation.

We invite you to provide us with your real-world examples, ranging from operational practices, technical changes, planning methods, business models, policy frameworks, etc. The key questions are: What is already happening today towards power sector transformation that policy makers should know about? What examples can you provide that will help paint a rich global picture?

The simplest way to submit your example is to send an email by January 10 to and point us to something for further investigation, write a few paragraphs or sentences about it, and provide any links or related documents, even if not in English.

For more detailed information, please visit

Successful Webinar Series about Solar Energy

The International Solar Energy Society, ISES, has been organising professional webinars since 2012. This year the Society held n very successful webinars. Webinar topics were: solar heat for industrial processes, hybrid concentrating photovoltaics, solar cooking around the world, worldwide developments in PV, sustainable technology integration, REN-21 GSR 2014 - focus on solar, materials for thermal energy storage, community owned renewable energy and PV-T collectors and applications.

In 2015 there will be more frequent webinars, with exciting new topics such as solar cars and solar desalination. ISES webinars are free of charge and aim to educate and inform about renewable energy technologies. There has been a resounding positive response from ISES members as well as the broader public regarding these webinars. To view the recordings of past webinars, visit the ISES website and participate in the next ISES webinar live!

World Wind Resource Assessment Report: almost 100 TW Wind Potential 

WWEA has published the first World Wind Resource Assessment Report. The report gives a comprehensive overview of currently available wind resources assessment from most world regions. The total wind potential of the world, as identified by these existing studies, is 95 million MW. Current global energy demand is around 100,000 Terawatt hours suggesting that wind energy alone would be more than sufficient to cover the world’s energy supply several times over.

Data and information has been drawn from varied sources such as national laboratories, research reports, peer-reviewed scientific publications and industry associations. The report makes it clear that there is no scarcity of energy on our planet; and that there is an abundance of wind, despite the conservative figures offered by some sources.  The report is free of charge and is available for download.

Webinar invitation: Doing Business in Turkey, 13 January 2015

A webinar jointly organised by GWEC and Renewable Energy World will be held 13 January 2015 at 9am CET.  It will highlight the opportunities for wind power development in Turkey. Participants can hear about the challenges faced by companies wanting to do business in Turkey and find out how to get around these challenges. The expert speaker will be Mustafa Ataseven, President of the Turkish Wind Energy Association; Steve Sawyer, CEO of GWEC will moderate the session including the questions and answers.

Situated at the crossroads of east and west, Turkey has unrivalled access to European and Asian markets which has helped its economy boom. Turkey is one of the fastest growing wind markets globally and has enormous wind potential with already more than 3 GW of installed capacity, a further 11 GW in planning stages, and expectations to increase this to 20 GW by 2023.  To participate, register here.

Upcoming Events


January 2015

IRENA Assembly & World Future Energy Summit (IRENA & UAE)
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 19-22 January 2014 | Event details

February 2015

15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit
New Delhi, India, 5-7 February 2015 | Event details


Mexico Wind Power 2015
Mexico City, Mexico, 25-26 February 2015 | Event details


March 2015

Intercontinental Wind Power Congress 
Istanbul, Turkey, 30 March - 2 April 2015 | Event details


April 2015

ICLEI World Congress 
Seoul, Republic of Korea, 8-12 April 2015 | Event details

May 2015

2015 World Hydropower Congress
Beijing, China, 19-21 May 2015 | Event details

2nd SE4ALL Forum
New York, United States, 18-22- May 2015 | Event details

June 2015

Asia Clean Energy Forum (ADB)
Manila, Philippines, 15-19 June 2015 | Event details


European Sustainable Energy Week (European Commission)
Brussels, Belgium, 15-19 June 2015 | Event details


Vienna Energy Forum (UNIDO)
Vienna, Austria, 18-20 June 2015 | Event details

July 2015

Clean Energy Week (CEC)
Sydney, Australia, 22-25 July 2015 | Event details

September 2015

Brazil Windpower 2015
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1-3 September 2015 | Event details


31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Hamburg, Germany, 14-18 September 2015 | Event details


INTPOW Renewable Energy Conference 
Oslo, Norway, 22 September 2015 | Event details

October 2015

Capetown, South Africa, 4-7 October 2015 | Event details


World Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition (WWEA)
Jerusalem, Israel, 26-28 October 2015 | Event details

November 2015

ISES Congress
Daegu, Republic of Korea, 8-12 November 2015 | Event details

December 2015

Paris, France, 30 November-11 December 2015 | Event details

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