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Newsletter - September 2016

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Dear Reader, 

Back from summer holidays, the REN21 Secretariat has started its “rentrée” full speed with the launch of contributions for the Renewables 2017 Global Status Report, the release of its regional status report on Eastern African countries at IOREC, carrying out interviews for the upcoming 2nd edition of the Renewables Global Futures Report, preparing for major events in Moscow, Russia and Baku, Azerbaijan in cooperation with UNECE, and of course COP22 in Marrakech.
We will use our fully charged batteries to work collectively towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement which hopefully will enter into force by COP22. In its recently launched new report World Energy Investment 2016, the IEA documents that renewable energy projects accounted for 40% of investment in all new power projects globally, with China overtaking the US and Europe as it tries to reduce its reliance on heavily polluting coal. However, the report also indicates that we need to triple our efforts in order to meet the Paris targets.
Clearly a lot remains to be done and we look forward to continue working hard with our network members to advance the global transition with renewables and energy efficiency. Stay tuned until our next newsletter (December 2016) where we will formally announce the host country for the next IREC, which will take place autumn 2017.
Sunny greetings from Paris,

Christine Lins
Executive Secretary


Work on GSR 2017 has Begun!

With the 2016 version successfully launched, REN21 has now turned its attention to the 2017 edition of the Renewables Global Status Report.

This year REN21 will use a new questionnaire platform for the GSR data collection process.  The platform  has been streamlined to reduce the time and effort of contributing data and information. It will now also include  sections on energy efficiency, enabling technologies, and integrative approaches. 

The GSR 2017 will also have a new chapter on enabling technologies (including heat pumps, EVs, storage, smart technology, etc.). The feature chapter will address the ‘baseload power myth’ – the idea that renewables cannot supply reliable, baseload electricity.

If you would like to be a part of the GSR 2017 team, please complete the following form – it only takes two minutes!  If have any general questions about the upcoming GSR process, you can contact us via email.  

Launch of EAC Report at IOREC

REN21’s latest regional status report will be launched at the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC), 30 September – 1 October in Nairobi, Kenya.  Produced in cooperation with UNIDO, the report looks at the current status of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region.  The work will also be used to support the activities of UNIDO’s recently opened regional centre: the East Africa Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE).  You can download the report as well as accompanying inforgraphics here.


REN21 will be present in Marrakesh, hosting an official side event and participating in relevant activities.  "Making the INDCs a Reality:  Role of renewable energy in meeting the 1.5C target" will be held 14 November, 11:30-13:00 in cooperation with the World Future Council and Greenpeace. We will also have an information booth which we are sharing with the World Future Council. We hope to see you there!

Renewable Energy Track at the COP22 

Following the success of the “renewable energy track” (RE Track) in Paris--where the message on renewables was amplified through a wide range of events and partners--IRENA together with its Coalition for Action partners will facilitate the second “renewable energy track” at COP22 in Marrakesh. The track will showcase renewable energy solutions in a series of events linked through a common narrative. 
Participating in the RE track is easy: Renewable energy events will be officially labelled and promoted through a common platform. 
 A "RE-Energising the Future" logo will be provided, and the schedule of events and promotional materials will be hosted on the re-energising website. Those using the label will be asked to:
  • Feature the RE-Energising the Future logo on their organisation’s web page
  • Promote the RE track (#REenergise) in newsletters, blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts, etc.
  • ReTweet/Share #REenergise social media posts, and create their own
Expressions of interest to participate in the RE track at COP22 should be send to


REN21 is now a partner of Power for All.  Universal energy access is attainable using renewable, affordable and faster solutions, but it can only happen by uniting behind a global voice that demonstrates the power of renewables. REN21 will work with Power for All to promote the use of distributed renewables to meet energy access needs. 

News from the Network

NEW! World Energy Investment 2016 demonstrate investment flows toward cleaner energy

The new IEA annual report, World Energy Investment 2016, provides a comprehensive and detailed picture of the current investment landscape across fuels, technologies and countries. It shows that the energy system is undergoing a broad reorientation toward low-carbon energy and efficiency but investment in key clean energy technologies needs to be further ramped up to put the world economy on track for climate stabilisation. 

Renewable energy investments of USD 313 billion accounted for nearly a fifth of total energy spending last year, establishing renewables as the largest source of power investment. While spending on renewable power capacity was flat between 2011 and 2015, electricity generation from the new capacity rose by one third, reflecting the steep cost declines in wind turbines and solar PV. The investment in renewable power capacity in 2015 generates more than enough to cover global electricity demand growth. 

Technology innovations also boosted investment in smart grids and storage, which are expected to play a crucial role in integrating large shares of wind and solar. While grid-scale battery storage investment expanded tenfold since 2010, their value is predominantly to complement the grid, which continues to absorb much larger investment. Click here for more information and to access the report.

ECREEE Launches New Version of Interactive Data Portal

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) officially released a new version of one of its flagship products, the ECOWREX Interactive Data Portal—an open data platform for managing and sharing renewable energy and energy efficiency information on ECOWAS Member States. 

The ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOWREX) was designed to improve existing knowledge in the energy sector, bridge information gap, alleviate information barriers within the ECOWAS region, and provide decision makers, project developers, investors and other stakeholders with tailored information and planning strategies. 

The new data portal archives over 20,000 data points covering renewable energy and energy efficiency information from 2010 to 2016 for the 15 ECOWAS Member States. (The former portal contained approximately 8,000 data points dating from 2013 and earlier.) The new version has been designed and developed in-house by the ECOWREX Unit of ECREEE. Its extended functionality now permits end users to access information under various topics and indicators; to embed and share easily the country profile data portal on partner organisation web platforms; and to download the raw data in various formats for further analysis. The new version is available online. Any questions about the portal?  Please contact us!

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

The rapid deployment of renewable energy has been driven mainly by a wide range of objectives, which include advancing economic development, improving energy security, enhancing energy access and mitigating climate change. While such presumed benefits are widely cited as key drivers in political and energy debates, specific, documented evidence of such benefits remains rather limited for reasons including a lack of adequate conceptual frameworks, methodological challenges, and limited access to relevant data. 

The World Future Council has published a paper identifying some of the remaining questions relating to the sustainable development implications of aiming for 100% renewable energy. Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development is an attempt to provide a basis for subsequent development of a conceptual framework for future work on this topic. GSR authors Janet L. Sawin and Freyr Sverrisson were the lead authors of this WFC Publication.

Greenpeace Ship Rainbow Warrior sails to the sun

Greenpeace Mediterranean is currently on a solar celebration ship tour from Lebanon via Turkey and will end at the UN climate conference in Morocco. Throughout the voyage the diversity of people, food, rich culture of the Mediterranean, and a sun-powered bounty are celebrated and held up as inspiration. We are sharing our vision of a world in which people are empowered, inspired and active in building solutions to make the world safer and more sustainable; one in which we share abundance and create together.
Throughout the tour the Rainbow Warrior serves as a vessel of hope and a platform of unity celebrating the world’s primary energy source. Themes such as abundance, energy democracy, energy independence, active citizenship (prosumer) are presented at on-board meetings with key multipliers such as representatives from the tourism sector, Mayors of the Turkish Slow City Network, anti-coal organisations, to the business and finance community. The aim is to show the interconnections between of all these issues and to build the momentum for an unstoppable Energy [R]evolution across the region!

In parallel we sail to the sun Günese Yelken Aç invites everyone to join Greenpeace Mediterranean’s solar campaign of one million solar roofs by 2018. The campaign features the voices of ordinary Turkish people who are acting individually as renewable energy change agents. Read about these six solar pioneers who each represent different sectors of Turkish society. The approach is to reach out using emotional rather than technical language in order to change people’s perception of renewables and particularly that of solar energy. Please contact us for more information about this campaign.
Upcoming GWEC Webcasts: Save the date!

GWEC has planned a series of webcasts over the next few months. Our ‘Doing Business In …’ webcasts aim to provide practical advice to companies wishing to enter an emerging market.  Over the course of an one-hour webinar, an expert from the emerging market presents the challenges likely to be faced in setting up business, and also shares some solutions as to how to best address them. 

• Doing business in… South Africa (4 October 2016, 3pm CEST) 
• Doing business in… India (28 November, 3pm CEST) 
• Doing business in… Mexico (6 December 2016, 4pm CEST) 

In addition to our ‘Doing Business In …’ webcasts, we’ll also be presenting our Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 report via webcast. The report presents three visions of the future of the global wind energy industry out to 2020, 2030 and up to 2050. 

• Global Wind Energy Outlook (24 Oct 2016, 3pm CEST) 
• Global Wind Energy Outlook (15 December, 3pm CEST) 

To be added to our distribution list communicating more about these webcasts, please register here. For more information click here. Our webcasts are all open for sponsorship. Contact Isabelle Prosser for further information.

WWEA - Wind Conferences

WWEA is hosting two important and related events in Japan each which aims at accelerating the transition to renewable energy in Japan, in East Asia and globally.

The 15th World Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition WWEC2016  “Concentrating efforts for wind power growth in Japan and worldwide!” will be held 31 October – 1 November at the University of Tokyo, Japan.  A technical tour is offered on 2 November. More than 500 experts and 150 speakers from 40 countries are expected to attend WWEC2016, amongst them top wind and renewable energy experts from science, industry, governments and international organisations such as IRENA, REN21 and UNESCO. Consult the conference website for more details.
1st World Community Power Conference WCPC2016  “One year after Paris – five years after Fukushima: Community power for a renewable future!”   WCPC will gather 300 delegates, among them more than 40 dedicated, experienced speakers who are experts/practitioners in community power from communities, non-governmental organisations, governments, research institutes and enterprises. These experts from over 20 countries will share their experiences to formulate a future strategy to strengthen community power worldwide. The event will be held 3-4 November 2016 in Fukushima, Japan.  More information can be found here.

Save the Date! ISES Solar World Congress 2017

Mark your calendars for the ISES Solar World Congress 2017, to be held at the Jumeirah Hotel, Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) 29 October - 2 November, 2017. 

The ISES Solar World Congress, held biennially since the 1950's, embodies the spirit of international networking and exchange of ideas advanced by the Society. We are pleased to be organising the 2017 Congress together with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The Call for Participation and invitation to collaborate on the Congress will be announced in the coming weeks.   

In the meantime, start preparing your abstracts! All abstracts will be blind reviewed by at least three designated scientific committee members. The abstract and paper review process will be led by the scientific committee chairs and theme chairs, international experts from leading research institutes. 

Accepted papers presented at the Congress will be published with an individual DOI in the conference proceedings on a publicly accessible and searchable online database.

Join us for this unique opportunity to present and share your work, connect with the international renewable energy community and learn about the latest in renewable energy developments world-wide.

Unlocking Solar Capital Africa:  November 2017, Nairobi, Kenya

From 1-2 November GOGLA and Solarplaza will host Unlocking Solar Capital Africa; an event entirely focused on connecting solar project development, finance and investment across the entire African solar sector. Off-grid lighting and household electrification will also be discussed. Attendees will be able to meet over 300 financiers, investors, development banks, developers, IPPs, EPCs and other energy stakeholders. 

The Off-grid portion of the conference will include a number of sessions on issues such as debt financing and structured finance for the PAYG/DESCO sector, seed and early stage financing, working capital from manufacturing to the last mile, and consumer financing capital. 
This two-day event is a must for investors and solar businesses alike. It is presented with support from our strategic partner, RECP (Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme) and supporting partners, FMO (Dutch development bank), BMU (German Federal Environment Ministry), African Finance Corporation and the Kenyan Renewable Energy Association.  Visit the Unlocking Solar Capital Africa website for full details.

GOGLA will complement Unlocking Solar Capital with a third day of events (3 November). This day will be dedicated to a variety of side events that include sessions on donor coordination and foreign exchange risk as well as matchmaking and facilitated meetings. For further information please contact GOGLA directly.

Geothermal Exploration: IGA book launch

The recently published IGA book Geothermal Exploration- Global Strategies and Applications was launched at the European Geothermal Congress in Strasbourg 22 September. Geothermal energy and its development around the world is the subject. Topics covered include definitions of 'geothermal play types' based on geological setting and strategies/methodologies appropriate for each play type to move a geothermal exploration programme to the stage of committing to exploration drilling. Topics covered include geoscientific techniques, permitting procedures, environmental considerations, geology, geochemistry, geophysics and remote sensing techniques used throughout the world for specific play types. The book covers geoscientific techniques and focuses on their applications to both convective and conductive geothermal systems.

Important Role of Bioenergy in European Cities:  A new WBA report

Bioenergy has the potential to become a pillar in the future energy portfolio of cities. In the battle against climate change, cities play a decisive role. Without a targeted policy for cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, climate mitigation policies cannot be successful. 

This new study from the World Bioenergy Association addresses the challenges cities are facing with regards to global climate mitigation policy and explains the contributions biomass can offer to reduce the use of fossil fuels in cities. Biomass is a proven renewable and cost-competitive source of on-demand energy to replace fossil fuels in the supply of heat, partly in the transport sector and in generation of electricity. 

Seven European cities are cited in this study, each demonstrating how bioenergy is integrated into the urban energy system. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy security and development of new jobs in Europe are key arguments in favour of bioenergy for these cities. 

The report also stresses that the decision makers in cities responsible for future energy supply should consider certain key criteria: impact on greenhouse gas emissions; security of supply; and regional development by regional energy solutions. 

You can download the complete report here. For more information, visit our website.
Rethink Energy, Act NOW! 12th IEA Heat Pump Conference, Rotterdam

The 12th IEA Heat Pump Conference 2017 will be held in Rotterdam with the theme: ‘Rethink Energy, Act NOW!’ 

The Conference will begin with a number of workshops followed by a high-level plenary opening session  and followed by three days of presentations. Keynote presentations will open each morning and afternoon session. A call for papers has generated more than 350 high quality abstracts. This success means that the Conference will present four main conference tracks. 
• Smart Grids, District Heating 
• Nearly Zero Energy Buildings 
• Industrial Heat Pumps and Waste Heat 
• Sorption Technologies and Working Fluids 

Each track will have up to 40 oral presentations and a large number of poster presentations. Registration for the conference is now open; register here. For general questions, contact us.

Sustainable Transport: Habitat III and UNFCCC

The Global Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) promotes the integration of sustainable transport in global sustainable development processes. In 2016 SLoCaT is focusing on the contribution of sustainable transport to the UN Habitat III process and in the Marrakesh Climate Conference (COP22). 

The latest draft of the Habitat III “New Urban Agenda” (NUA) gives considerable attention to sustainable transport as one of the key elements necessary for the transformation of cities and explicitly recognises the role of “clean energy” in helping citizens to make better transport choices.   At Habitat III SLoCaT will support a wide range of activities including a Transport Day Quito  and the developing Quito Implementation Plan needed to deliver the NUA. 

Following the success of the Paris Agreement attention has now switched to implementation; SLoCaT is supporting 15 transport initiatives many of which include a renewable energy element such as the C40 Clean Bus Declaration, and several initiatives to promote e-mobility.  At COP22 SLoCaT will discuss with nation states what they need to do in order to scale-up action. There will also be a Transport Day Marrakesh, with several sessions addressing renewable energy, including a dedicated session on the “Energy – Transport nexus” being developed jointly with REN21, which is a SLoCaT member. 
For more information about the above events or SLoCaT in general, please contact us.

IRENA Events

IRENA is hosting two important and related events around the role of renewables in the off-grid and urban worlds. 

Off-grid International Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC)
The third edition of IOREC will take place in Nairobi, Kenya 30 September - 1 October, 2016.  IOREC is the global platform for sharing experience and best practices on the design and implementation of enabling policies, tailored financing schemes, innovative business models and technology applications for stand-alone and mini-grid systems. It is organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency, and in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the Alliance for Rural Electrification. To learn more about IOREC, please visit the official website.

RE-Energising Cities: Renewable energy in Urban Settings:Habitat III
IRENA will host a high-level forum RE-Energising Cities: Renewable energy in Urban Settings at the Habitat III Conference in Quito this October. The forum will showcase the transformative power of renewable energy in cities and facilitate the sharing of best practices and innovative solutions through interactive dialogues and drawing upon examples of frontrunner cities. The forum is held in cooperation with the Governments of Ecuador, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. More information is available here.

Scaling-up Clean Rural Electrification Markets in Asia

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) shares fit-for-purpose offers and solutions via its Off-grid Matchmaking Platform and Off-grid Job Platform. These platforms works to increase the quantity and quality of clean energy projects worldwide and scale up off-grid markets based on self-sustainable business models.
Are you planning to implement a project in Asia which needs technical or financial support?  ARE is increasing its presence in this region.  For example, ARE has identified Myanmar as a highly interesting market for off-grid solutions and recently presented PURE (the productive use of clean energies) at the Myanmar Green Energy Summit.  The approach looks at energy security from private sector perspective so that present and future access to energy is guaranteed at affordable prices. If you are looking for support in this region, please contact Marcus Wiemann.
Recently ARE recently became a partner of the ADB Energy for All Initiative which advances the know-how at the global scale and works to increase energy access deployment on the ground. To keep up-to-date on ARE activities subscribe to our newsletter and the ARE Event calendar by emailing us.

NAMA Facility: Further funding for NAMA support projects

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have committed to fund up to € 60 million for a 4th Call of the NAMA Facility. The NAMA Facility’s 4th Call is open until 31 October, 2016. 

The NAMA Facility will continue to support developing countries and emerging economies in implementing the most ambitious Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) with a high potential for transformational change towards a low-carbon development trajectory. National governments of developing countries and countries with emerging economies as well as qualified applicants are invited to submit NAMA Support Project Outlines. NAMAs can function as an important vehicle to implement nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. 

The NAMA Facility was established by BMUB and BEIS (formerly DECC) in 2012, Denmark and the European Commission joined in 2015. The donors have thus far held three competitive Calls for NAMA Support Projects starting in 2013. With the additional funding, more than € 260 million in funding is now made available by donors. The NAMA Facility already supports 14 NAMA Support Projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia. 

Further information on the facility can be found here.  You can also contact us with any questions you may have.

How Finance Works:  A new guide

Accelerating investment for climate solutions on the ground has become a core focus of attention post-Paris, with renewable energy strategies as a central part of that agenda. 

As a practical contribution, the newly released Finance Guide for Policymakers provides a factual overview of the landscape of finance—sources of capital, what the capital markets do, where green bonds fit in, how transactions work etc.—linked to renewable energy and the broader ‘green infrastructure’ agenda.   

This new publication is a reference guide with detailed live-link contents pages at the start of each section. In the early 2000s financiers told Ministers that they needed policy that was ‘long, loud and legal’ to confidently make the investment case.  Since then there has been a lot of work to close the gap between finance and policy and much has changed.  The results from Paris (COP21) reinforce the importance of ensuring the next round of actions hit the right resolution for attracting capital.

The report is published by BNEF, Chatham House and UNEP’s Collaborating Centre at the Frankfurt School and is endorsed Christiana Figueres, former head of the UNFCCC. A short outline for integrating investment into climate and energy is planned next.  Feedback welcome

Upcoming Events

September 2016

CTCN Regional Forum for Anglophone Africa 
Nairobi/ Kenya, 27-29 September, 2016 | Event details

3rd International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition
Nairobi/Kenya, 30 September – 1 October, 2016 | Event details

October 2016

LAC-CORE Finance Summit
Miami/United States, 3-5 October, 2016Event details

EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference
Bridgetown/Barbados, 10-11 October, 2016 | Event details

11th ISES EuroSun Conference: International Conference on Solar Energy for Buildings and Industry, Palma Mallorca/Spain, 11-14 October, 2016 | Event details

REENCON XXI International Renewable Еnergy Congress
Moscow/Russia, 13-14 October, 2016 | Event details

5th Annual Renewable Energy Finance in Practice Forum
Vienna/Austria, 20-21 October, 2016 | Event details

7th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development
Baku/Azerbaijan, 18-22 October, 2016 | Event details

Copyright © 2016 REN21 c/o United Nations Environment Programme, All rights reserved.

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