2013 started strong and full speed on all fronts with an exciting gathering of the renewable energy community in Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week which, among others, hosted this year’s Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC), jointly organized by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Energy and Climate Change; Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted clean energy company; and REN21.
The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week welcomed over 30,000 participants from 160 countries, and has managed to bring the best brains of the energy and water sector together to facilitate exchange and bring about change. ADIREC continued in the traditions of previous IRECs hosted in Bonn (2004), Beijing (2005), Washington (2008) and Delhi (2010) to debate strategies for the rapid expansion of renewable energy globally.
During the Abu Dhabi meetings, REN21 launched the Executive Summary of the MENA Status Report, produced in partnership with the UAE government and IRENA as well as its new flagship publication, theREN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR), produced in partnership with ISEP, the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policy of Japan.
In mid-January, figures on investment in clean energy (containing energy efficiency and others; the detailed figures for the renewable energy sector are not yet available) were released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The investment figures showed a 11% decline in investment in 2012, at the same time indicating that the decline in investment volume is partly a result of significantly decreased technology cost. Nevertheless, 2012 was the second best year in terms of investment with five times more investment volume than the one registered in 2004.
Concerted action of both the public and the private sector will continue to be key for further deployment of renewable energy. The newly constituted REN21 Steering Committee and Bureau represent the strong “coalition of the willing” to advance renewable energy. The new team together with REN21’s approved strategy and work plan for the next three years provide a clear direction for the network.
After nearly 8 years of unprecedented and exemplary leadership, Mohamed El-Ashry, REN21 Chair as of 2005, passed the chairmanship of REN21 on to Arthouros Zervos, unanimously elected as new Chair of REN21 by the REN21 Steering Committee in its meeting on 17th January 2013.
With this, REN21 is forging ahead at full speed and on target for a renewable energy future of our planet.
Executive Secretary of REN21
News from the REN21 Secretariat
REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR) launched
On 16 January 2013, REN21 launched its new flagship publication, the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR) at the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC), produced by REN21 in co-operation with ISEP, the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policy of Japan.
The REN21 Global Futures Report author, Dr. Eric Martinot, presented the report in the opening session of the ADIREC 2013 where he and Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at International Energy Agency (IEA), discussed the future of renewable energy and what is in the cards in 2013 and beyond. Moderated by Sky News Arabia, speakers Martinot and Birol provided their high-level perspectives on the global renewable energy outlook in view of existing economic instability and the range of credible possibilities for renewable energy in the long-term.
With the world’s energy dynamics becoming increasingly complex, there is a need for greater global dialogue and collaboration to address how the world will power its future generations. As a compilation (mosaic) of viewpoints, the report is designed to do just that, to stimulate discussion and thinking about the future in new ways. The GFR provides access to the range of credible possibilities for the future of renewable energy, grounded in the opinion of 170 leading experts worldwide and the projections of 50 recently published scenarios. It paints a mosaic of the possibilities ahead. REN21 intends to use this report to facilitate dialogues and discussions about the future of renewable energy among a wide range of stakeholders, and especially with a view to future policy making. A series of “Great Debates” located throughout the report are a special element, and frame contemporary issues for discussion and understanding. See the www.ren21.net/gfr for more details
REN21, UAE, and IRENA Launch an Executive Summary of the MENA Status Report
REN21 in partnership with the United Arab Emirates and IRENA released the Executive Summary of the upcoming Renewables MENA Status Report at ADIREC 2013, to showcase new investment opportunities and evolving renewable energy policy frameworks in the region. The renewable energy market in the MENA region is rapidly expanding, with a diverse range of countries announcing projects and policies to harness the region’s abundance of renewable energy resources for economic growth and energy security enhancement.
The Renewables MENA status report will be launched in the spring of 2013 and aims to capture the full range of renewable energy activities in the region and showcase the information to stakeholders in the region as well as to local and global investors, developers and project promoters, to thereby further accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. It is produced in cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME), the League of Arab States the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
ADIREC 2013 sees consensus on the doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030
Held this year as a centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC), hosted by the World Future Energy Summit from 15-17 January 2013, addressed the goal of advancing renewable energy making it the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East.
After three days of discussions involving government delegations, industry leaders, international organization and civil society, ministers from over 160 countries called for a doubling of the world’s share of renewable energy by 2030 in the Declaration of the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference and further applauded the leading role of the UAE and Middle East.
During ADIREC, REN21 also hosted a networking area where delegates met with the REN21 multi-stakeholder community, exchanged with other ADIREC participants, and interacted with REN21 products including the Renewable Interactive MAP, reegle, REN21+, the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report and the new REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report. In addition, a series of high-profile side events to ADIREC were organized by the German Government, IRENA, IEA, CREIA, WWF, ACORE, CEC and EWS. The side events enjoyed full attendance outside the main ministerial sessions over the course of the three days and successfully highlighted the diverse activities of the organisations in promoting the deployment of renewable energy.
Participate in the review process of the full chapters of the SE4All Global Tracking Report
The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Steering Group is now making drafts of the full chapters of the Global Tracking Framework available for review and welcomes all comments and suggestions throughout the period of 6 – 20 February 2013. The review process is being carried out with the help of an innovative peer review tool available on REN21+.
The SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework will define the appropriate methodologies for measuring the extent of access to modern energy services, the global share of renewable energy, and the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
Based on this methodology, it will analyze global trends towards achieving these objectives and establish the starting point against which future progress will be measured. It will also highlight successful experiences and opportunities for high action at the country level and assess the scale of the global challenge in meeting each of these objectives.
Modernization of the REN21 website
The REN21 Website was re-launched in December 2012 in a new look as to extend its user comfort and further expand its reach. Acting as a main focal point for those interested in the activities of REN21 and its network members, the REN21 website saw considerable growth in viewing numbers and currently attracts several hundred thousand unique visitors annually. Next to providing an overview of the network structure, featured articles and events, the website provides access to all of REN21’s flagship products (via download and links). REN21 aims at further increasing the amount of featured articles in the REN21 Network news section to more extensively contribute to latest debates in the energy sector and highlight knowledge & information from its own products as well as the one from network partners. This will be achieved by regular periodic outreach activities with REN21 network members and the increasing of cross-linking between member websites.
News from the REN21 Network
Two new reports from UNDP: “Transforming Renewable Energy Markets” and “Derisking Clean Energy Investment”
UNDP is releasing two new publications as part of its continued efforts to share lessons learnt and good practice in renewable energy. The first report, “Transforming Renewable Energy Markets”, provides an overview of UNDP-GEF projects on feed-in tariffs in 15 developing countries. In these activities, UNDP has been assisting developing countries to assess key risks and barriers to technology diffusion and then to identify a mix of policy and financial de-risking measures to remove these barriers and drive investment. Download the report here.
The second report, “Derisking Renewable Energy Investment” describes an innovative framework to support policymakers by quantitatively comparing the impact of different public instrument packages to scale-up renewable energy. A key benefit of the framework is to make assumptions explicit, so that they can be checked, debated and enriched to strengthen the design of market transformation initiatives. This report will be published later this month.
SEAN-CC – Empowering ASEAN Countries to meet the Climate Challenge
The Southeast Asia Knowledge Network of Climate Change Offices, an initiative lead by UNEP and funded by the Finnish Government, has entered its second phase in 2012.
Ten countries from the ASEAN  see their capacity strengthened in the areas of climate policy formulation and implementation nationally, and for the international climate negotiations. SEAN-CC provides support and capacity building to national Climate Change offices on Adaptation, Mitigation and other cross- cutting issues. The new website launched this month will also serve as a platform for knowledge sharing amongst the network members on their latest national climate policy and actions.
For more information, please visit SEAN-CC new website: www.sean-cc.org – Stay tuned: Technical Studies on NAMAs coming soon on SEAN-CC website.
 Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Fostering Small Wind in developing countries
Small and Medium Wind Turbines (SMWT) often offer the most environmentally friendly and cost-competitive solution for rural electrification in developing countries. Yet, they are even more often neglected by decision-makers and practitioners.
Therefore, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) launched a year-long Small Wind Campaign in June 2012, in order to raise awareness among local decision-makers about the potential benefits of SMWT for their communities.
The pillar of the Campaign is the position paper “The potential of small and medium wind energy in developing countries”. Other activities included online webinars, a side event during the 1stInternational Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference, a Business Delegation to Ivory Cost and several workshops throughout the developing world. During the next six months, ARE will also address other practical aspects, such as the financial side of projects. Furthermore, the Alliance is already planning the launch of the Battery Campaign in June 2013. photo credit: Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE)
REEEP awards €3.95 million to 28 new clean energy projects
In January, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) announced that it will fund 28 projects that aim to increase energy access and clean energy entrepreneurship in 19 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.
In total, REEEP has now funded more than 180 clean energy projects in 58 countries, disbursing €18.4 million and leveraging an additional €35.1 million in co-funding. This cycle is made possible by donations from Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more information can be found here.
The EU and the New Zealand government are co-hosting the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland 25-27 March.
This event brings together Pacific Island Leaders, international development agencies, multilateral banks, and private sector interested in providing efficient, clean, and affordable energy solutions for the Pacific region. Access to affordable and reliable electricity is a key priority for Pacific island countries, largely dependent on expensive imported fossil fuel. Pacific Leaders will present their energy plans. Potential projects, including solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, bio- energy and energy efficiency will be reviewed.
In parallel an Energy Investment Showcase is organised, providing opportunity for the private sector, together with Pacific islands and development agencies to showcase their products, services, expertise and solutions in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
More info available: http://www.pacificenergysummit2013.com
Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
The third Vienna Energy Forum (VEF 2013) is taking place from 28 to 30 May 2013
Organized one year after the Rio+20 Summit, the third Vienna Energy Forum (VEF 2013) will focus on the energy dimension captured in the Rio+20 outcome document. It will provide a high level forum for leaders, policy makers and energy practitioners to engage in an interactive dialogue on key specific sustainable energy issues, such as policies, markets, finance and technologies. At the same time the Forum will enable the participants to understand how sustainable energy fits into the broader picture of the post-2015 development framework. The VEF2013 will draw on content and thought leadership of key partnerships, such as the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and on the findings of the
United Nations Development Group’s thematic consultations on energy, as well as on the intergovernmental process on the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
ISES Solar World Congress
The International Solar Energy Society is pleased to invite the global renewable energy community to join us for the Solar World Congress 2013 which will take place in Cancun, Mexico from 3 – 7 November 2013.
The overarching theme of the ISES Solar World Congress is “Renewables Working Together for All”. The Congress will focus on all renewable energy technologies and aims to explore the hybridization of different renewable energy sources around the world. The event also includes a large commercial exhibition featuring international renewable energy companies.
The Congress will bring together, renewable energy industry, government and NGO leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and students from around the world to discuss the latest cutting-edge technology advances as well as business and workforce opportunities in renewable energy.
The full list of themes and topics as well as detailed information about the Call for Papers, including author instructions and the on-line abstract submission can be found here. Visit www.swc2013.org to learn more.
Alliance for Rural Electrification General Assembly 2013
Brussels, Belgium, 14 February 2013 |Event details
6th Biennial Clean Cook stoves and Fuels Forum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 18 March 2013 |Event details
7th European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference
Geneva, Switzerland, 17-19 April 2013 |Event details
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
IHA World Congress
Sarawak, Malaysia, 21-24 May 2013 |Event details
World Bioenergy Conference (WBA)
Jönköping, Sweden, 27-29 May 2013 |Event details
3rd Vienna Energy Forum
Vienna, Austria, 28-30 May 2013 |Event details
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
Brazil Wind Power 2013
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-5 September 2013 |Event details
Cape Town, South Africa, 25-27 September 2013 |Event details
28th EU PVSEC 2013
Paris, France, 28 September – 4 October 2013 |Event details
China Wind Power 2013
Beijing, China, 16-18 October 2013 |Event details
Local Renewables Freiburg 2013
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, 24-25 October 2013 |Event details
ISES Conference (ISES)
Cancun, Mexico, 3-8 November 2013 |Event details