REN21 – Newsletter September 2012
Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century
September 2012

In This Issue

News from the REN21 Secretariat
News from the REN21 Network
Upcoming Events

Add the REN21 Renewables Interactive Map widget to your website to incorporate its renewable energy data search

Keep Up With Us

   Subscribe to Newsletter
Friend on Facebook Facebook
Follow on Twitter Twitter

Dear reader,

Since the last REN21 newsletter in June announcing the launch of the REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report (GSR), a series of outreach events took place using the findings about global renewable energy market, industry, policy and investment developments to stimulate discussion about renewable energy on regional and national levels. These platforms facilitated dialogue between private and public sector actors on enabling factors for renewable energy deployment. The Global Status Report caters to various audiences from policy makers on national and international levels, researchers, industry representatives and investors. In a recent event at Melbourne University, a leading climate scientist referred to the Global Status Report as the “antidepressant” which every climate scientist should have in his/her drawer.

The recent announcement of Japan to phase out nuclear power by 2040 marks a historic shift of Japan’s energy policy. Although many details about Japan’s future energy choices are still unclear, this announcement will most likely provide a strong impulse for renewable energy development in Japan. Japan’s renewable energy feed-in tariffs, announced on July 1st, have already attracted about USD 2 billion in investment. The recent announcement of Masoyoshi Son, the founder of Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, to build up to 1 GW wind farms on Hokkaido island is another indication of the increased role of renewable energy for Japan’s energy future. On 24th September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced new leadership arrangements for his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative: Kandeh Yumkella, currently Director-General of UNIDO, was appointed as Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Chief Executive of the initiative. Furthermore, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, will serve as co-chair of the initiative’s newly formed Advisory Board.

At the REN21 Secretariat, preparations for the 2013 edition of the GSR have already started with a week of debriefing workshops with technology and regional contributors. Furthermore, REN21 has intensified its collaboration with the United Arab Emirates in preparation of ADIREC, the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference that will take place from 15-17 January 2013. ADIREC will offer a strategic high-level platform to discuss the role of renewable energy on economic development, energy security and mitigation of climate change and highlight policy and investment trends in the MENA region. Furthermore, REN21’s Renewables Futures Report will be launched at ADIREC.

I look forward to meeting many of you personally at ADIREC and wish you in the meantime a happy reading of this year’s third REN21 newsletter that provides you with a concise overview of activities of both the REN21 Secretariat as well as our network members.

Best regards,

Christine Lins
Executive Secretary of REN21

News from the REN21 Secretariat


Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to Address Key Challenges

The United Arab Emirates, through Masdar, will host the largest gathering on sustainable development in Middle East history, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s global leadership in meeting energy needs while preserving the environment. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is expected to draw over 30,000 participants from 150 countries. Globally recognised leaders from governments, the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will assemble in the UAE capital from January 13-17, 2013. The International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC), convened  by REN 21, will be held from January 15-17,  along with other conferences at ADSW and will enable governments, businesses and organisations to demonstrate their achievements and share their knowledge of ways to protect critical environmental resources. 

Sustainable access to energy, water and food will be among the topics at other ADSW events, also, including: the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) from January 13-14; the 6th annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) from January 15-17; the International Water Summit (IWS) from January 15-17 and the 5th annual Awards Ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize on January 15. | More information

In addition, ADIREC will offer the possibility for not-for-profit non-governmental, governmental, or inter-governmental organizations to organize side events to ADIREC.  The Side Events will serve as a forum for ADIREC participants to highlight their diverse activities in promoting the deployment of renewable energy outside the main ADIREC Ministerial sessions. Organizations interested in conducting an Official Side Event at ADIREC 2013 are invited to submit an online request using the Side Event Request Form,  by October 12.

REN21 GSR Outreach
Like in previous years, this year the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report was launched at a series of conferences and events around the world. Starting a pre-release at the 7th Asia Clean Energy Forum, the GSR has reached to audiences in every continent. The key findings of the report were presented at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil; garnering much interest from the energy and development community at large. The European Commission furthered their interest and commitment to the renewable energy field by hosting a launch event for the REN21 Global Status Report in Brussels, which brought together the renewable energy community from across Europe to discuss the findings of the GSR. Similarly in Germany, Italy, South Africa, Australia and Thailand, the renewable energy community had a chance to participate at live presentations of GSR2012 key findings and engage in discussions about facts and figures presented in the report and the state of renewable energy in general. The report will also be presented at several other international forums in the coming months including conferences in Ghana, China, and the United States amongst others.| Outreach Calendar
As the most frequently cited international report on renewable energies, interest for the GSR has grown over the years and thus the Clean Energy Solutions Center hosted a series of webinars with detailed coverage of the REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report with a regional focus. As part of a series of five webinars, detailed accounts of the status of renewable energy was provided for Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. You can join the last of these, focusing on Latin America, on October 23rd.| Webinar Registration

The success of the Global Status report and the Renewables Interactive Map is primarily due to the outstanding quality of input provided by the contributors’ network. The GSR team is already looking ahead to the next edition of the report and is reaching out to regional and technology contributors all over the world to join the ever-growing GSR community. Please contact us at to express your interest in participating the exciting GSR production process or for any GSR related queries. The REN21 2012 Renewables Global Status Report is available at Help us spread the word and initiate dialogue around the key findings on the status of renewable energy world over.

GSR iPhone App launching soon
The findings of the Global Status Report will very soon be also available on your smartphone. An iPhone application, showcasing the status of renewable energy policy, investment, and technology is available for you to download from the Apple App Store free of charge. Download this application now have the most up to date data renewable energy data available at your fingertips all the time. The GSR iPhone App will be soon available to download at the Apple iOS App store. 


The Renewables Interactive Map 

REN21 is continually improving its web-based Renewables Interactive Map, which is currently gaining popularity. The Renewables Interactive Map furthers the perspectives provided in the REN21 Global Status Report, by enabling in depth country specific analysis, access to constantly updated market and policy information and detailed exportable databases. It offers a streamlined method for gathering and sharing information on economic development and policy frameworks in the field of renewable energy. To give more users free and easy access to renewable energy, a widget has been introduced which is available for its  integration into interested websites; targeting policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and donor organisations. If you would like to integrated the widget into your website and/or contribute information for the map, contact and send us data at or or visit us here.

IRENA REN21 Renewable Energy Data Collection Framework Gains Momentum
The IRENA-REN21 collaboration on the development of a Renewable Energy Data Collection Framework (REDAF) has had many exciting developments since the last REN21 Newsletter. The aim of REDAF is to enable the tracking of renewable energy trends on a national level and globally and to systematize this process of data collection within IRENA under a single framework so that it can effectively disseminate the renewable energy information among member states and stakeholder groups. Following from the regional workshop in Morocco on 17th May, the project has now successfully tested its roadmap for setting up a National Data Collection Framework. This has led to the formation of a National Multi-Stakeholder Working Group in Morocco that will provide a one-stop shop for consolidated renewable energy data and information within the Ministry of Energy in Morocco. The momentum of the REDAF project will bring it to Egypt this November to further test and set up a National Data Collection Framework in the country, building on the success and regional lessons of Morocco. Further, over 100 interviews have been held with a wide variety of industry actors within the field of renewable energy to obtain in-depth feedback on the REDAF, helping to develop a robust and holistic data collection framework. 

REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report
Sixth Review Workshop held in South Africa

Intended to create a global dialogue on renewable energy futures, the sixth REN21 Global Futures Report review workshop was held in Johannesburg, South Africa  on 14th September, co-hosted with South African Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD). With over 40 invitees, a full day of discussions was held with the national utility, government, industry and NGOs actors in South Africa to   capture current perspectives on the country's range of possible renewable energy futures by 2030-2050. Completing over 200 interviews, six review workshops and an extensive peer-review, the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report will be released at the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference 2013. The Global Futures Report, a sister to the Global Status Report, aims to provide an overview on how the future of renewable energy is currently seen by prominent experts, governments and organizations and to serve as a tool to facilitate dialogue on the future of RE.

REN21 the Sixth World Urban Forum: Integrating Renewables in Urban Infrastructure and Policy, Findings from the Upcoming Global Futures Report

More than 6000 participants from 151 countries met in Naples from the 1st-7th of September at the sixth edition World Urban Forum (WUF), to discuss “the Urban Future.” Established by the United Nations in 2002, the event brings together ministers, mayors and multistakeholder actors to address rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The theme “the Urban Future,” was chosen this year to bring focus to the planning required to manage the rapid urbanization seen today, with more than half the global population living in cities for the first time in history, and projected to reach close to two-thirds of the population by 2030. REN21 hosted a a joint networking event with the World Future Council as well as Energy Cities, and HafenCity University Hamburg on the topic of Regenerative Cities. REN21 discussed the findings from the upcoming REN21 Global Futures Report on the integatron of renewable energy in the Urban Infrastructure and Policy as local authorities try to meet the insatiable energy and resource appetite of their growing populations. Read more


News from the REN21 Network

IEA Renewable Energy Medium-Term Market Report 2012
In a new report, the IEA sees renewable electricity growth accelerating over the medium term

"The International Energy Agency recently published its first edition of a new annual series, the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report. The report provides a key benchmark for the renewable power sector, with in-depth analysis of key country markets, renewable financing and technology developments, as well as projections for global renewable capacity and generation. As a portfolio of renewable technologies continues to mature, the IEA sees global renewable power growth accelerating, with generation increasing by 40% from 2011 to 2017. Renewable deployment is projected to spread out geographically, with increased activity in emerging markets. Non-OECD countries account for two-thirds of generation growth, with China alone comprising 40%. New deployment opportunities are spurring economies of scale in renewable technologies, creating a virtuous cycle of improved global competition and cost reductions. Risks will remain, including economic and policy uncertainty in some countries, the development of less mature technologies (e.g. offshore wind) and the cost and availability of financing. But IEA analysis shows that the drivers should outweigh the challenges, helping renewable markets to continue their strong growth." Paolo Frankl, Head, Renewable Energy Division, International Energy Agency Learn more

The Global Energy Assessment (GEA) is now available from Cambridge University Press.
GEA is the most comprehensive assessment to date of energy systems around the world. The new report, which included input from more than 500 scientists, policymakers, and energy experts around the world, examines the global challenges related to energy, technologies and resources available to provide modern, clean, and affordable energy, and possible policy solutions and scenarios that could lead to a sustainable future.  GEA identifies 41 pathways that could lead the world to universal access to sustainable energy.  Not only is it possible to make energy accessible and sustainable, the report finds, but efforts to make this happen would also have multiple benefits for human society. Increasing the use of renewable energy would cut greenhouse gases and air pollutants, benefiting both human health and the climate.  Summary documents for policymakers, the GEA technical summary, and lists of authors, as well as ordering information, are available on the GEA Web site.

Cost analysis shows renewable gaining advantage 

“Renewable power generation technologies are becoming increasingly competitive. They account for half of all new power generation capacity additions worldwide. Renewable technologies are now the most economic solution for off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as well as for centralized grid supply in locations with good resources.”
This statement is based on a comprehensive analysis of the cost and performance of key renewable power generation technologies released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The analysis, presented in a series of five studies (approx 40 pages each), covers solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), wind power, hydropower and biomass for power generation. The studies were released by IRENA at its Council meeting, which is being held in Abu Dhabi on 5-6 June 2012. The reports can be downloaded here

The Role of Trade Policy in the Growth of Renewable Energy: An Executive Roundtable to discuss global trade and its impact on regional economic growth
October 19, 2012 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel - Washington, DC, USA.

The Roundtable, convened by ACORE’s US-China Program, will gather industry executives and stakeholders to discuss the current state of trade policy globally and explore tariff and non-tariff related trade measures, particularly renewable energy subsidies and procurement, their relevance in promoting renewable energy growth globally, and their overall implications on trade. In addition, participants will explore ways and means by which various multinational and bi-lateral organizations and initiatives are addressing market and trade-related barriers to renewable energy deployment globally.| Learn more

1st International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference 
1 - 2 November 2012, Accra, Ghana.

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are jointly organising the 1st International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference on November 1 – 2 in Accra (Ghana). The event is an official contribution to the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. This Conference will be the first major international event focusing on off-grid renewables in developing countries with a special focus on Africa. With the objective of increasing the collaboration between public authorities and the private sector, the Conference’s participants will collectively address issues related to sustainable rural electrification. IOREC will also offer ample networking opportunities. In fact, a large number of key stakeholders will be present at this event: Energy Ministers, rural electrification decision-makers, worldwide private sector representatives, utilities delegates, international organisations and financing institutions. Among those confirmed are the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and the UNIDO Director General, Kandeh K. Yumkella. In parallel with the Conference, starting from 31st October, ARE is organising an Exhibition, to give the private sector the opportunity to further present its products and projects. | For further information, please, visit IOREC’s website

Upcoming Events nchor

October 2012

International Seminar on Energy Access
New Delhi, India. 9-10 October 2012 |Event details
Climate Change: Security, Resilience and Diplomacy 
London, UK. 15-16 October 2012 |Event details
The Role of Trade Policy in the Growth of Renewable Energy: An Executive Roundtable to discuss global trade and its impact on regional economic growth
Washington DC, USA. 19 October 2012|Event details
Windaba 2012
Cape Town, South Africa. 22-24 October 2012|Event details
Worlds Within Reach: From Science to Policy
Vienna, Austria. 24-26 October 2012|Event details
Local Renewables 2012 
Freiburg, Germany. 25-26 October 2012 |Event details  

November 2012

ECOWAS-GFSE-GEF-UNIDO High Level Energy Forum
Accra, Ghana. 1-2 November 2012|Event details

7th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition
Berlin, Germany 12-14 November 2012|Event details

International Thriving Neighbourhoods 2012 
Melbourne, Australia. 12-14 November 2012 |Event details

3rd International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Trade Fair 
Dakar, Senegal, 13-15 November, 2012|Event details

China Wind Power 2012
Beijing, China. 15-17 November, 2012|Event details 

Wind Power India 2012
Chennai, India. 28-30 November, 2012 |Event details

Rebalancing the World Energy Markets: The role of China, Russia and Central Asia 
London, UK. 29-30 November 2012|Event details

December 2012

Doha Climate Change Conference
Doha, Qatar. 26 November to 07 December 2012 |Event details

January 2013

Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC)
Abu Dhabi, 15-17 January 2013 |Event details



Unsubscribe | Update your profile | Forward
REN21 values your privacy. At no time has REN21 made your email address available without your permission.

REN21 Secretariat 
c/o UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme
15 rue de Milan
75441 Paris Cedex 9 France
Phone +33 1 44 37 50 90
Fax +33 1 44 37 50 95

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences