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

In This Issue

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

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Dear reader,

At the end of 2012, this fourth 2012 edition of the REN21 newsletter provides you with a comprehensive overview of recent activities of the REN21 Secretariat as well as its network members. We look back at an eventful year which saw further growth of renewable energy globally as well as diversification of renewable energy markets, despite some draw-backs in certain parts of the world. The renewable energy development during the last decade gives hope for a bright renewable energy future. How exactly this future will unfold depends on a series of parameters. Already today I cordially invite you to watch out for the launch of REN21’s new flagship report, the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report during the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC) on 16th January 2013.

The entire team at the REN21 Secretariat joins in sending our best wishes for Happy Holidays and a good start of 2013. We thank all our members, partners and contributors for their on-going support and look forward to continuing our collaboration in 2013 with enthusiasm, renewed strength and dynamism!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2013!

Best regards,

Christine Lins
Executive Secretary of REN21


15-17 January 2013: the Renewable Energy World meets in Abu Dhabi at ADIREC

As the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC) hosted by the World Future Energy Summit will gather the leading renewable energy experts from all around the globe. ADIREC will focus on renewable energy policy evolution and innovation in economically challenging times and the global renewable energy outlook on the credible range of future energy options. The latest ADIREC program contains more than 100 confirmed world-class speakers and is now available to download at

In addition to the official conference programme, a series of official ADIREC side events give complementary insights into topical renewable energy policy issues.

During the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference, IRENA and REN21 will bring together governments industry and experts from around the world to discuss the findings from the Renewable Energy Data Collection Framework initiative. By gathering experts from around the world, the REDAF side event will give the opportunity to interact with the keys actors involved in data collection processes at local and regional levels and to discuss the role of data in attracting and scaling up national renewable energy investments.

We look forward to welcoming you at ADIREC and invite you to pay us a visit at the REN21 Networking Area at the conference venue. 

Upcoming Launch of the New REN21 Flagship: the Renewables Global Futures Report

On January 16th, 2013, REN21 will launch its much anticipated Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR) at the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference. The Global Futures Report provides easy access to the range of credible options on the future of renewable energy, grounded in the opinion of 170 leading experts and the projections of 50 recently published scenarios. The report addresses the questions: how much renewable energy will exist in the future? And what will renewable energy futures look like – what are the possibilities, choices and actions?  
The Global Futures Report does not prescribe one point of view or make judgements, but rather presents the contemporary and collective thinking of many persons interviewed including industry and finance experts, CEOs and business managers, researchers and academics, policymakers and parliamentarians, public advocates and visionaries. The views of utility companies and conventional energy companies are also covered in the report.

Download the GFR as of January 16th from

Presenting the Minigrid Policy Toolkit 
Renewable and hybrid energy mini-grids hold significant potential for energy sector in developing countries: not only for increasing energy access, but also for enabling the increased use of renewable energy. Mini-grids are technically and increasingly also economically viable modern energy provision solutions in off-grid areas, and the hybridisation of existing fossil-fuel based mini-grids can result in substantial savings – not only for consumers, but also for governments and utilities. 

Unleashing the potential of mini-grids requires the right policy framework. Practically, this means that mini-grids need to feature in energy plans and energy policies; specific energy regulations also need to be created.  Drawn from international experiences, the mini-grid policy toolkit is designed to specifically address these needs, by providing policy-makers with essential background information as well as hands-on recommendations and tools for mini-grid framework development.  

The Minigrid Policy Toolkit will be developed by the three partner organisations: REN21, the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Partnership Programme and the Alliance for Rural Electrification in a consultative process, involving stakeholders from private sector, governments, civil society and academia. It will be disseminated through training workshops and online platforms. 

If you are interested in participating in the process, being kept up to date on the development of the toolkit or if you have any questions, please contact


News from the REN21 Network

World Energy Outlook 2012 
The World Energy Outlook is the flagship annual publication of the International Energy Agency, and has become the world’s most authoritative source of energy market analysis and projections, providing critical analytical insights into trends in energy demand and supply and what they mean for energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development. 
WEO-2012 presents projections of energy demand, production, trade, investment and carbon-dioxide emissions through to 2035. It covers oil, coal, natural gas, renewables and nuclear power. It also contains in-depth analysis of several topical issues, including energy efficiency; the dependence of energy on water; the global implications of unconventional oil and gas, and a country focus on Iraq.
This latest WEO also analyses the implications of energy trends on climate change, quantifies the cost of subsidies to fossil fuels, and presents measures of progress towards providing universal access to modern energy services. For more information, visit the WEO website:

The 1st International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition: A ground-breaking event for the sector

The 1st International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC) was held in Ghana and established the first major conference and trade fair focused exclusively on the off-grid renewable energy sector in developing countries. From the 31st October to the 2nd November, over 300 participants shared one objective: push for an accelerated development of a sustainable and commercially-viable off-grid energy market in the regions that need it most. Jointly organised by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), it was an official contribution to the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. Speakers discussed both the policy and technological challenges of the sector, stressing how essential is the establishment of concrete and reachable sustainable electricity-access targets and the necessity to develop feasibility studies that assess the potential of several energy options (small pv, wind, hydro, etc.).

ACORE Side Event at ADIREC 2013
Aside from transmission and storage infrastructure build out, financing of renewable energy has been a global hurdle. As many countries start to emerge from the global recession, financing mechanisms on the regional, state/provincial and federal levels have provided case studies on how to sustainably fund projects. ACORE, in collaboration with REN21, Masdar, the Clean Energy Business Council of UAE and SASIA, is in process of pulling together the official finance side event to ADIREC 2013, convening key global financiers and developers together to discuss several projects underway and the financing structure in place to ensure sustainable growth across the MENA region. Additional information can be found here

UNEP to host the new UNFCC Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
Access to clean energy technologies could be a step closer for developing countries with the announcement during COP 18 in Doha that the Climate Technology Centre, created by the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun two years ago, is to commence operations in 2013. The Centre, to be hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will focus on: 
  • Facilitating the preparation and implementation of technology projects to support action on mitigation and adaptation at the request of developing countries.
  • Build the capacity of developing countries to identify priority technology needs through regional and global peer learning, exchange, and training programmes;
  • Accelerate the transition to low emission and climate resilient development.
The Climate Technology Centre and Network is designed to stimulate technology cooperation and to enhance the development and transfer of climate-sound technologies to support action on mitigation and adaptation on the ground in developing countries. The Climate Technology Centre and Network will be led by UNEP in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), together with 11 other organizations from both developing and developed countries.

New funds of USD 350 million for renewable energy in developing countries
Among the toughest challenges for scaling up renewable energy, especially with projects using technologies in ground-breaking ways, is raising the necessary funds.
But the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is working with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to set innovative renewable energy schemes in motion in developing counties. IRENA on 11 November started accepting applications from such projects for concessional loans worth USD50 million from ADFD, in the first of seven funding cycles totalling USD350 million. “We are looking for projects that are innovative and replicable and provide opportunities for new renewable energy businesses to grow in energy-poor areas,” said IRENA Deputy-Director General Frank Wouters.

To qualify, projects must be government-led or government-guaranteed. They can utilise any form of renewable energy – including bioenergy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy, solar energy and wind energy. Online applications close on 12 January 2013. See for details.

A new approach to education and training in renewable energy.
To date, it is estimated that there are 5 million jobs in the renewable energy sector. In 2011 this sector accounted for 44% of new generation capacity added worldwide, with investment forecast to increase from USD 257 billion to above USD 450 billion by 2030. With these strong growth projections, new jobs and positions will emerge, requiring significantly increased numbers of qualified individuals.
At present however, significant knowledge gaps remain regarding which renewable energy training programmes exist, who the responsible parties are, and what the most pressing needs include. To tackle this situation, IRENA developed the ‘IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership’ (IRELP) portal ( to raise awareness of readily available renewable energy education and training, thereby enhancing their accessibility. The portal was created to meet the growing worldwide demand for skilled renewable energy personnel and aims to bridge the gap between the renewable energy market requirements and what is taught by educational systems worldwide, through collaboration with academia and the renewable energy industry.
IRELP is a central hub that pools renewable energy education and training materials that often tend to be widely dispersed, and displays renewable energy scholarship and internship opportunities alongside news and events. More specifically, IRELP is comprised of a global education and training database that includes both past and upcoming webinars, a library of renewable energy training materials and an e-learning platform where users receive support through online lectures and tutorials. IRELP also provides information on vocational training courses and tertiary degree programmes worldwide so that users may identify the educational institutions where they may further their education in the field of renewable energy. IRELP is aimed at an international audience and as such is provided in a number of languages. IRELP will be a particularly useful platform for students, professors, professionals and those interested in the field of renewable energy.
You can follow IRELP on Facebook @ IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP), and on Twitter @IRELPproject.

The United Arab Emirates has announced plans to build a 15 MW solar PV plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
The project is being designed and implemented by Masdar, the UAE’s state-owned clean energy company. The solar array, to be located in the capital of Nouakchott, will be the first large-scale renewable energy project in the country, adding 10% capacity to the national grid. Mauritania suffers from energy shortages and depends largely on diesel generators, but has notably high solar potential. The plant complements a growing portfolio of Masdar-executed grant projects, including in the Seychelles, Tonga and Afghanistan. These projects are designed to prove the viability of renewable energy in developing countries, especially those with high oil import dependency for power generation. They also underscore the UAE’s commitment to doubling the world’s share of renewable energy and achieving universal clean energy access under the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Read more

New Energy [R]evolution 2012 – A sustainable World Energy Outlook published
Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) published the fourth edition of the global Energy [R]evolution scenario. Compared to the last edition from 2010, which has be chosen from the IPCC as one of the lead scenarios for its “Special Report Renewable, this new 2012 edition includes a detailed analysis of fossil fuel reserves, a survey about the renewable heating sector, and the socio-economic effect for renewable energy expansion. Key results in a nutshell:

Global power demand will increase via efficiency standards By 2020 renewable energy could supply 37% of the world’s electricity with installed capacity at 7,392 GW, up from 237 GW in 2011. In the long term, 94% of the world’s electricity would come from renewable energy sources, while nuclear power will be phase-out. Electricity costs would stabilize and start to decline after 2030, reducing the power bills by 40% below the reference case. The level of global investment in new power plants up to 2050 to implement the Energy [R]evolution would be US$1.2 trillion a year, about 1% of the world's annual GDP. Relying on renewable energy would in future result in US$1.3 trillion in fuel cost savings per year. These savings would more than offset the investment required to make the shift to renewable energy. By 2030 around 12 million people could work in the renewable power industry. The 300 page full report is available under:

The International Solar Energy Society (ISES) presents itself
ISES, a non-profit UN-accredited membership NGO founded in 1954, is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy for all, used efficiently and wisely. ISES works to provide the global renewable energy community with a collective, scientifically credible voice and up-to-date information gathered and synthesized by its talented members.
Although ISES was originally formed to promote research and development in solar technologies, the Society has become known as an authoritative voice on renewable energy issues worldwide, advocating for a sustainable global solar industry, supporting career growth of Young ISES members, and promoting energy education at all levels. ISES forms an extensive, diverse network of businesses, institutions, and individual researchers, academics, professionals, practitioners, decision makers and advocates in more than 100 countries.
ISES engages its members and contacts around the world through various outreach activities including conferences, such as the biennial Solar World Congress taking place November 2013 in Cancun, Mexico, and publications such as the leading scientific journal, Solar Energy. Starting this year ISES is also offering online webinars on topics relevant to the global renewable energy community.  The next ISES webinar will take place tomorrow, 13 December and will address the topic of Financing for Solar Off-Grid Businesses. Visit this link  to register for the webinar today.
You can learn more about ISES and how you can join as a member at

International Geothermal Association supporting geothermal education
The International Geothermal Association (IGA) is active in supporting geothermal training courses worldwide.  Every year for the last three years the IGA has budgeted US$20000 to support short training courses, which is an effective means of directly benefitting the membership and promoting geothermal knowledge.  The maximum amount of funds for any single grant is US$5000, enabling the IGA to support up to four courses in one year, and ensuring that all regions have an opportunity to obtain some funding support. 
Twice a year funding applications are reviewed by the IGA Education Committee, and recommendations made to the IGA Board, who make the final decision on who should receive support.  Because funds are limited, the organisers of any proposed short course need to have additional financial support from other sources.  The funds are often used to assist students from developing countries to attend geothermal training; for instance the IGA assisted five students from African countries to attend pre-conference geothermal training courses held in conjunction with the African Rift Geothermal Conference (ARGeoC4). 
For more information see

REN Alliance COP18 Side Event conclusions
The International Renewable Energy Alliance held a side event during the COP18 in Doha "Towards 100 % renewable energy: Case studies and examples from regions and municipalities". demonstrating that all over the world, effective climate change mitigation is happening on the ground. Speakers representing all renewable energy technologies highlighted municipalities and regions that have reached or are on the way to 100 % renewable energy. Examples were presented from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Senegal, and Sweden. 

The Sustainable Business Institute proposed a strategy on how the Green Climate Fund could become a key institution in supporting renewable energy investment in developing countries. One instrument would be a global feed-in tariff scheme, as proposed by the REN Alliance earlier. Participants proposed a new long-term strategy for climate change mitigation, which focusses on a 100 % renewable energy future. This could bypass the current blockage of the climate negotiations that are mainly centered around burden sharing and greenhouse gas reduction. The audience supported strongly such proposal to work on a campaign for 100 % renewable energy. It was also agreed that national policies and international frameworks such as the Green Climate Fund could speed up this transition towards renewable energy.

On a side note, one member of the REN Alliance, the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), has launched its new CIS Report. The report can be found here.

The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) will be highlighting opportunities in the field of modern bioenergy by publishing a series of science-based fact sheets.
The first fact sheet focused on modern Small-Scale biomass heating systems and their beneficial applications. The second fact sheet concerns the application of combined heat and power (CHP) technology in connection to district or industrial heating / cooling systems. In the third fact sheet, the carbon neutrality of biomass from forest is addressed and goes onto show that the use of forest biomass is carbon-neutral. This third fact sheet was presented to the COP18 in Doha.
These fact sheets are WBA’s series of publications highlighting achievements and developments in modern Bioenergy, with a view to increasing it’s recognition as an efficient, carbon neutral, environmentally friendly, convenient and cheap alternative to fossil fuels. Furthermore, WBA intends to help to fill an important gap in the availability of objective and up-to-date information for decision-makers on bioenergy opportunities by publishing these fact sheets. To download the fact sheets visit

January 2013

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

Mexico Windpower
Mexico City, Mexico, 30-31 January 2013 |Event details

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2013
New Delhi, India, 31 January to 02 February 2013 |Event details

February 2013

EWEA Annual Event
Vienna, Austria, 4-7 February 2013 |Event details

Release of Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Sweden 2013 Review
Stockholm, Sweden, 5 February 2013
|Event details

ACORE’s National Renewable Energy Policy Forum
Washington, USA, 5-6 February 2013 |Event details

Alliance for Rural Electrification General Assembly 2013
Brussels, Belgium, 14 February 2013 |Event details

March 2013

6th Biennial Clean Cook stoves and Fuels Forum   
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 18 March 2013 |Event details

April 2013

Clean Energy Ministerial 
New Delhi, India, 17-18 April 2013|Event details

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit
New York, USA, 22-24 April 2013 |Event details

Renewable Energy Finance Forum - Latin America and Caribbean
Miami, USA, 30 April 2013 |Event details

May 2013

IHA World Congress
Sarawak, Malaysia, 21-24 May 2013 |Event details

World Bioenergy Conference (WBA)
Jönköping, Sweden, 27-29 May 2013 |Event details

June 2013

12th World Wind Energy Conference & Renewable Energy Exhibition WWEC2013
Havanna, Cuba, 3-5 June 2013 |Event details

Asia Clean Energy Forum (ADB)
Manila, Philippines, 24-28 June 2013 |Event details

September 2013

Brazil Wind Power 2013
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-5 September 2013 |Event details

Cape Town, South Africa, 25-27 September 2013 |Event details

October 2013

China Wind Power 2013
Beijing, China, 16-18 October 2013 |Event details

November 2013

ISES Conference (ISES)
Cancun, Mexico, 3-8 November 2013 
|Event details


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