REN21 – In this issue News from the Secretariat News from the Network Upcoming Events

Newsletter – December 2013

In this issue

News from the Secretariat
News from the Network
Upcoming Events

Dear Reader,

Many of us are now back from attending COP19 in Warsaw and are somewhat puzzled by what happened during the climate negotiations. Although the cop was convened shortly after typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines—showing  once again the disastrous and yet uncontrollable force of climate change—developing and developed countries disagree more than ever about who should pay for mitigation and adaptation measures.  Moreover we are far from seeing the Green Climate Fund filled with the pledged USD 100 billion by 2020. Poland’s decision to host the World Coal Summit at the same time as the climate talks was seen as a provocation by many and it can only be hoped that the coal industry heard UNFCCC Executive Director Christina Figueres’s call for change to leave most of the world’s coal reserves in the ground and to switch off old coal power plants.

All this is in contrast to the many exciting initiatives presented at numerous side events and fora that demonstrate that it is not yet too late to redress the current situation. The rapid deployment of renewable energy, for example, will ensure a rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector and will contribute to a steady reduction of emissions. The implementation of Germany’s energy transition as well as emerging regional and local Initiatives based on 100 % renewable energy supply, coupled with energy efficiency, showcase constructive solutions. Maybe future climate talks should put a higher emphasis on the solutions instead of the problems!

In parallel with COP19, REN21 convened its 14th Steering Committee meeting where members approved the network’s Annual Report 2013 as well as the 2014 work programme. REN21 will continue to build on its multi-stakeholder composition to develop cutting-edge products and initiate dialogue on a rapid transition to renewable energy; something that is needed more than ever.

We would like to thank you, dear reader, for following us throughout 2013. The REN21 team wish you some relaxing time with your family during the upcoming festive season as well as an energetic start to 2014. We look forward to sharing many renewable energy highlights with you in the year to come! 


Best regards,
Christine Lins
Executive Secretary REN21

News from the REN21 Secretariat

REN21 at a glance

Are you interested in knowing what REN21 did in 2013? What about what we plan to do in 2014?  REN21’s 2013 Annual Report provides readers with this information and more. Links to all REN21’s 2013 publications are included in the on-line version making it a handy reference tool.  You can download it here

REN21 at COP

In parallel with its 14th Steering Committee meeting, REN21 participated in two COP 19 side events in Warsaw, Poland, both events hosted by REN21 members.  The REN Alliance event looked at the integration of technologies to achieve a 100% renewable society.  “Achieving ecodevelopment through smart energy planning” was hosted by HELIO International. Here REN21 presented on the need for reliable information to make good decisions.  Questions from the audience at both events illustrated the collective frustration at the slow integration of renewables into the energy mix.

REN21 in West Africa

REN21 and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency have partnered to produce a regional status report on renewables in the ECOWAS region. This 15-country region is one of the most active regions in Africa for the promotion of renewables and energy efficiency. As the region’s considerable renewable energy resources are central in helping meet current and project demand, it is important to map out the full range of existing renewable energy activities.  Understanding ECOWAS’s emerging renewable energy industry, market development and growth in the near and medium term are also key to realising the region’s potential. Other issues that the report will address are policy trends, regional opportunities and the role of energy efficiency. A particular emphasis will be on distributed renewable energy.  Please let us knowif you have data or information to contribute.

REN21 Renewables Interactive Map now bigger and better!

Substantive efforts have been made this year on the REN21 Renewables Interactive Map to provide greater consistency and quality of data across the database. Recent work includes improving the user-friendliness of the site, ensuring a regular update schedule and collaborating with other renewable energy information portals. Using information provided by the GSR contributors as well as research performed at the REN21 Secretariat, nearly 5,000 data points have been added this year alone for a total of over 14,500 unique data points. These efforts have led to a twelve percent increase in Map users since the beginning of 2013.  More than 40 percent of Global Status Report readers also use the Map. Our most recent push to further improve the Map combines a targeted advertising campaign to increase visibility and site traffic with a user survey integrated into the Map interface. Based on feedback from the survey, we will be able to customise the Map to better suit users’ renewable energy interests. The survey is designed to determine the areas where the Map is performing well and the areas where there is room for improvement. Visit the Map today to take the survey and help us to better meet your renewable energy data needs. 

News from the REN21 Network

REN Alliance: 100% renewables now

During the second week of climate talks in Poland (COP19) ,  five REN Alliance partners organised a side event and a press conference on the 18th and 19th November respectively. Participants discussed the pathway towards a 100% renewable energy economy and called upon national governments to commit to 100% renewable energy targets and strategies. The REN Alliance 2035 strategy sets out the improvements needed to reduce the total primary energy demand. In addition, continued strong growth of renewable energy technologies, decentralised energy supplies, large-scale deployment of mass energy storage capacity and new strategies to penetrate the heating sector are necessary. A 30 minute webcast of the press conference can be viewed here. A  full press release and flyer are also available for consultation.

A number of REN Alliance’s members are also part of the Global 100% Renewable Energy Coalition; a coalition that called upon national governments attending cop 19 to commit to 100% renewable energy targets and strategies.  Whereas climate change debates have become all too often associated with failing political negotiations and inadequate actions, the global movement at COP 19 showed that change is already taking place. Communities, regions and countries from the US to Europe and Australia are celebrating their recent transition to 100% renewable energy (RE) in their energy supply. The Global 100% renewable energy Coalition is the first global alliance of civil society organisations, industry and academia that advocates 100% RE.  It works to connect the fragmented dots of renewable energy advocates and inspire change by showcasing good examples. To find out more, visit the campaign website or follow the coalition on twitter via @Go100RE.

We Have the Power

UNEP, in collaboration with the Magnum Photo Agency, launched on 27 November 2013, a new media campaign entitled ‘We Have the Power: Efficient, Renewable, Affordable” showcasing: “Nafa Naana”, Burkina Faso by Dominic Nahr; Bus Rapid Transit Improvements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Jerome Sessini; and Market Transformation for Energy Efficient Lighting, Chile by Moises Saman. The media campaign illustrates solutions already being implemented by UNEP and its partners to support the three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Its key message revolves around how we can make a difference, by scaling up proven existing initiatives. The media campaign is accompanied by the Clean Energy Voyage report and a postcard series on Myths vs Facts around sustainable energy. Both explore the rapid progress in clean energy technologies, policies and projects in developed and developing countries, and dispels the many myths surrounding renewable energy and energy efficiency. For more information and resources consult: We Have the Power | Cook up solutions | Move ahead | Brighten up |The Clean Energy Voyage

5th World Summit for Small Wind (WSSW) 2014 – Call for Papers

WWEA and New Energy Husum invite all small wind stakeholders to participate in the WSSW2014.  Held during New Energy Husum 2014, WSSW2014 will feature “Small Wind – Success Stories from all over the World” which will present an overview of the benefits and impacts of small wind in different countries. The summit will allow participants to present and discuss the conditions in which small wind projects have been developed successfully. Legal framework and financial schemes, technology application, project development and community involvement/benefits will also be addressed. Abstracts for are currently being solicited for WSSW2014. Options include describing a case study of a completed project, on national and international policies for small wind and on small wind standards and certification schemes. Abstracts must be submitted before 15 December, 2013.  For details on abstract content and submission contact Jean-Daniel Pitteloud or call  +49 228 36940-81.

NER300 – a catalyst for innovative energy technologies

The EU’s NER300 programme is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for innovative, low-carbon energy projects and a key component of the EU’s strategy to tackle climate change. It co-finances commercial scale demonstration projects with a view to them being successfully replicated across Europe. NER300 is so-called because the programme is funded through the sale of 300 million allowances from the new entrants reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System. Under the first call for proposals, financed by the sale of 200 million allowances, the European Commission awarded more than €1.2 billion in grant funding to 23 highly innovative,  commercial-scale renewable energy demonstration projects, in December 2012. The projects, spread across 16 EU Member States, cover wind, ocean, bioenergy, advanced biofuels, concentrated solar power, smart grids and geothermal power technologies. The NER300 grants will leverage a further €2 billion of private investment. The projects will create several thousand full-time jobs during the construction phase and about one thousand once they become operational. The NER300 funding will be made available to the projects on an annual basis, based on proven performance in terms of energy generated and of meeting of knowledge-sharing requirements. The second call for proposals, covering 100 million allowances as well as unspent funds from the first call, is on-going; the award decision is expected in mid-2014.

Estimation & Classification of Renewable Energy Resources

The United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources (UNFC-2009) is an internationally applicable scheme for the classification and reporting of fossil energy and mineral reserves and resources. The UNFC-2009 classifies resource potential using three axes: (1) socio-economic viability, (2) project feasibility and (3) geological uncertainty. Similar principles are applicable to renewable energy projects. Adopting a common assessment methodology would greatly benefit investors, regulators, governments and consumers in providing an improved view of energy sustainability. The potential significance of this approach is illustrated in a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study that carried out an initial resource assessment of the US and Brazilian bioenergy and wind sectors.The UN Economic Commission for Europe has called on its Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC) to develop ideas on how to apply the UNFC-2009 to renewable energy. In response, a Task Force was set-up to lead activities in this area. Contacts and more information about the initiative are on the UNECE website.

Bolstering public support of renewables

On 21 January 2014, The International Energy Agency (IRENA) will organise a Renewable Energy Jobs Conference.  The conference will discuss how the renewable energy sector has become a significant employer.  Already 5.7 million jobs have been created and there is potential to increase this number.  Participants will share knowledge, experiences and best practices on all aspects of renewable energy job creation. Trends and dynamics and the necessary policy structures needed will also be discussed. The Renewable Energy Jobs Conference will be held alongside the World Future Energy Summit (WEFS).

Other IRENA news includes the launch of the second funding cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. With USD 350 million in concessional loans committed the facility funds innovative and replicable renewable energy schemes to improve energy access in developing countries. 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.   Interested parties are invited to register and work on their applications online. Results from the Workshop on Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy are now available. The workshop identified ways to counter increasing public concerns and negative campaigns against renewables. Recognising the need for collective efforts to create and disseminate common messages from the renewable energy sector, participants agreed to form a “coalition for action” to bolster public support for renewable energy. If you are interested in joining this coalition please contact us.

Smart tools for better energy policies

HELIO International has designed several tools and methodologies that help decision-makers launch and monitor energy projects and policies conducive to ecodevelopment. These manuals are now being used in several countries to initiate projects that will orchestrate the adequate and rational use of natural resources, promote usufruct technologies, ensure participative governance, and develop equitably all forms of capital. One such project  is  Energy, Environment, Resilience in Africa (EERA), which applies the “Processing Information for Energy Policies Conducive to Ecodevelopment” (TIPEE ) diagnostic tool and the Smart Energy Path approach. The EERA project is working to increase regional institutional capacity to climate-proof energy policies and systems and improve regional collaboration. Members of the technical teams in Benin, Mali and Togo were carefully selected and come from the government, private, academic and civil society sectors.  HELIO International is looking for partners to replicate this approach in other countries. Please contact the HELIO Secretariat if you are interested!

WindMade Label for Mexico WindPower 2014

Mexico WindPower 2014, taking place in Mexico City on 26-27 February, will cover 100% of its power consumption by wind energy and be labeled by WindMade. The event represents the most anticipated gathering of key players from within the wind power industry to discuss latest trends and business solutions in the Mexican wind market. The WindMade label enables businesses and event organisers to communicate their commitment to renewable energy to their stakeholders and consumers. The non-profit organisation behind the WindMade label only awards the certificate to events that draw their power exclusively from renewable energy sources.  In order to qualify for the WindMade label, an event must be 100% powered by renewable electricity, the largest share of which must come from wind power. For Mexico WindPower 2014, this includes the preparation of the event, the power consumption by exhibition and conference, and also the receptions and dinners that are part of the event.  Registrations are now open for Mexico WindPower 2014 with the programme set to attract representatives from businesses, experts, academics and professionals, and three levels of government, all seeking Mexico’s latest trends and business solutions. For more information please see the conference website.

Launch of the IGA Academy

On 14 November, 2013 theInternational Geothermal Association (IGA) announced the foundation of the geothermal learning centre, the IGA Academy. The IGA Academy will be established at the IGA headquarters located at the International Geothermal Centre Bochum (GZB) in Germany and will be managed by the IGA Service GmbH. With its distinguished global approach in offering varied training courses the IGA Academy will develop into a global partnership of accredited, certified universities and research institutions with site?specific training courses. Certification is carried out by the IGA and accredited partner institutions. Courses of different lengths and depth are envisaged to be given over the full spectrum of geothermal energy systems subjects.

5th edition of the ‘Bioenergy’ magazine now available

To coincide with COP19 in Warsaw, the World Bioenergy Association (WBA) published the 5th edition of its magazine, ‘Bioenergy’. This edition is a special compilation of previously released facts sheets on key bioenergy development issues ranging from CHP, carbon neutrality and the potential of small scale heating. The publication also includes general fact sheets updating the current status of biofuels for transport and biogas. An article developed by the WBA, describing the potential of a 100% renewable future from a bioenergy perspective, is also included. A digital version of ‘Bioenergy’ magazine number 5 is available to read on the WBA website.

New ECOWAS Publication

Renewable Energy in West Africa: Status, Experience and Trends presents the current situation and trends in West Africa regarding renewable energy and complements on-going work on the ECOWAS Atlas for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. The publication is a contribution from ECOWAS to the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative by 2030. The book features a compilation of articles from a distinguished array of ECOWAS and international experts and institutions covering a host of relevant issues, including the international context of RE; a continental and West African overview; RE Scenarios in West Africa; RE Policy Frameworks and Incentives; the ECOWAS Regional RE Policy; Integration of gender into RE Policies; country profiles; rural electrification strategies; RE potentials and technologies in West Africa; existing RE projects; local manufacturing; and RE investment and financing opportunities, among others. The publication is a valuable resource to anyone with an interest in West Africa’s energy sector. The book is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish and can be downloaded in electronic format (PDF and e-book).

Upcoming Events

January 2014

IRENA Assembly & World Future Energy Summit (IRENA & UAE)
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 18-22 January 2014 | Event details

February 2014

Community Power Conference 2014
Fukushima, Japan, 1-2 February 2014 

14th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit
New Delhi, India, 6-8 February 2014 | Event details

Mexico Wind Power 2014
Mexico City, Mexico, 26-28 February 2014 | Event details

March 2014

AfricaPVSEC 2014
Durban, South Africa, 27-29 March 2014 | Event details

April 2014

WWEC2014 (WWEA)
Shanghai, China, 7-9 April 2014 | Event details

May 2014

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