Towards policy coherence

 blog  Comments Off on Towards policy coherence
Jun 102020

Towards policy coherence. An assessment of tools linking the climate, environment, and sustainable development agendas. The report advises decision-makers in their search for frameworks, methodologies, and models that help integrate climate objectives and multilateral environmental agreements with the sustainable development agenda. The assessment includes textual analysis, technical guidelines, integrated models, and visualization software. Their smart use can support the design of a policy, program or larger strategy towards one or several SDGs.

New study on development co-benefits of climate action in Mexico

 blog  Comments Off on New study on development co-benefits of climate action in Mexico
Feb 062020

We are very excited to announce that our report Crunching Numbers: Quantifying the sustainable development co-benefits of Mexico’s climate commitments has been published. This study quantifies – and offers concrete evidence of – the co-benefits that can be obtained by implementing the climate agenda in coordination with the sustainable development agenda in Mexico. It measures six priority co-benefits resulting from the implementation of three current and two potential Mexican NDC commitments.

The selected climate commitments include targets for renewables, EVs, industrial efficiency, wastewater, and forests. The selected development benefits are: Livelihoods and community resilience; public health; food security; water resources quality; employment; and energy security.

New internship Energy Market & Policy at SD Strategies, Berlin

 job announcement  Comments Off on New internship Energy Market & Policy at SD Strategies, Berlin
Jul 312019

Dear Colleagues,

Please see our new internship announcement at

Applications close 14 August 2019 but will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply the better!

Feel free to forward and crosspost.


Raising climate ambition through long-term energy sector plans and sound participatory processes

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Raising climate ambition through long-term energy sector plans and sound participatory processes
Dec 032018

Concept idea by SD Strategies (Alexander Ochs, Ieva Indriunaite) and the Ministry of Energy (Fiona Bello Smith), Chile, for the NDC Support Cluster of the German Ministry of the Environment

Introduction: The approach proposes that long-term climate-compatible sectoral strategies and action plans should be designed and implemented to achieve mitigation and adaptation goals in line with both the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030. Beyond their immediate impact in the short- and mid-term, these climate-compatible sectoral policy instruments can serve as a vehicle for increasing climate ambition over time. While the NDC provides a broader goal and sectoral or economy wide activities, the design of specific policies and measures, including programmes and individual projects, is required to put the high-level commitments into practice. (…)

Conclusion/next steps: The development of a long-term climate-compatible energy sector plan can deliver wide-ranging benefits to support NDC implementation. It can mobilise the broader society behind climate action, providing a strong mandate for the government to maintain a coherent climate-compatible approach in its short-term policy planning and laying the ground work for increased climate ambition over time. To close the ambition raising policy formulation cycle, the key next step is to move beyond the field of energy. Other sectors should take over the baton, building on the momentum created to develop their own long-term NDC-compatible strategies through participatory policy making. The forthcoming NDC review process can act as a new window of opportunity in taking the approach to other sectors. The goal is to support the emergence of new “champion” sectors – next to or even in parallel to the early pioneers. With a bar set high, where several sectors compete, the planet wins.

Please find the full paper here: [NDC Cluster]

Local Ownership and Engagement for NDC Implementation

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Local Ownership and Engagement for NDC Implementation
Dec 032018

Concept idea by SD Strategies (Alexander Ochs, Ieva Indriunaite) and the Ministry of Energy (Esther Wangombe), Kenya, for the NDC Support Cluster of the German Ministry of the Environment

Introduction: The approach proposes a holistic multi-level process for the development of an NDC action plan, which strengthens local-level engagement to connect high-level policy commitments and concrete project implementation. The underlying aim of the local ownership and engagement approach is to provide a way for incorporating community concerns, knowledge, expertise and capacity into the national climate policy formulation and implementation processes (…)

Conclusion/next steps: There is a growing recognition that locally-driven participatory approaches can strengthen the design of climate policy and measures as well as their implementation. A policy, action plan or a project that is designed through the collaboration at all levels of government and that takes the perspectives, knowledge and capacities from local communities into consideration during the formulation stage is more likely to succeed and have a higher impact than traditional approaches that know only one way: top-down. The local ownership and engagement approach outlined in this concept paper offers a promising way towards achieving this goal. Its application in a particular country needs to be well thought through and adjusted to the local circumstances and capacities. It is important to ensure that lessons from pioneer countries such as Kenya are captured and fed back into the global pool of knowledge.

Please find the full paper here: [NDC Cluster]

New internship position available at SD Strategies

 job announcement  Comments Off on New internship position available at SD Strategies
Nov 222018

SD Strategies GmbH is currently seeking a highly motivated individual to assist in projects including but not limited to the areas of:

• Renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport policies and markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America & the Caribbean
• Development risks and benefits (SDGs) of climate policies (NDCs)
• Rural electrification, mini-grids and SHS business models and finance structuring
• Policies and measures to “derisk” sustainable energy investments
• Modelling of renewable energy and electric transport systems

For more, check:

NEW INITIATIVE, OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Empowering Women as Managers of the Renewable Energy Sector

 announcement  Comments Off on NEW INITIATIVE, OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Empowering Women as Managers of the Renewable Energy Sector
May 222018

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) launches the initiative “Empowering Women as Managers in the Renewable Energy Sector,” a project developed by the United States  and implemented by the Renewables Academy AG (RENAC), Nedworc Foundation (NWF) and SD Strategies.  Through an ambitious, comprehensive and targeted capacity-building and mentoring program, this project aims to support the accelerated career advancement of women in APEC economies who work in the field of renewable energy. It intends to develop their full personal potential and increase their confidence and skills to become effective employees, decision makers, entrepreneurs and leaders in the public or private sector. Specifically, Empowering Women as Managers in the Renewable Energy Sector seeks to support women’s career development by:

  • Increasing their knowledge of renewable energy technologies, markets and policy;
  • Enabling them to develop sound, comprehensive and convincing business plans; and
  • Facilitating professional exchanges and peer-to-peer mentoring.

More here:

Employment Effects of Renewable Energy Development Assistance, the  first SD Strategies brief for EUEIPDF has been published

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Employment Effects of Renewable Energy Development Assistance, the  first SD Strategies brief for EUEIPDF has been published
Nov 202017

 Renewable energy investments generate significant direct employment opportunities, and these
are far greater than those of conventional energy sources. This proven benefit is in addition to
climate, environment and health benefits.
 Indirect and induced employment effects of renewable energy investments often only become
visible over time. Their measurement is more complicated and contentious than that of direct
employment effects, and there are important limitations to their assessment.
 If the employment effects of renewable energy ODA are to be measured, their monitoring should
be integrated early on into project and programme design. A common methodology is urgently
required. And employment effects should be only one of multiple funding decisions.
 Cooperation with educational institutions and skills development are essential for harnessing the
full local employment potential of renewable energy investments. Other labour market institutions
also need to be developed to ensure the growth of local capacities, skills and knowledge are
matched to the demands and opportunities of jobs in renewable energy.
 Electrification is only the first step towards generating jobs, and additional measures to encourage
productive use are required.



New SEforALL report is out

 academic article/report  Comments Off on New SEforALL report is out
Sep 202017

I am excited to see that the new SEforALL report has just been publised:


I am a contributing author.

Here it is:


New Africa Mini-grids Community of Practice Launched

 blog  Comments Off on New Africa Mini-grids Community of Practice Launched
Sep 052017

SD Strategies, in its role of hosting the secretariat of the LEDS GP Energy Working Group, has supported the planning and inauguration of the African Mini Grids Community of Practice, in close cooperation with the Africa LEDS Partnership. Implementing partners also include SouthSouthNorth, KNUST, The US Department of Energy, NREL and CDKN.


The Africa LEDS Partnership (AfLP), in collaboration with the LEDS GP Energy Working Group (EWG), hosted the inaugural meeting for the new Africa Mini-grids Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) a day before the ninth Africa Carbon Forum commenced in Cotonou, Benin. The formation of the AMG-CoP is in response to the AfLP membership identifying mini-grid systems as a priority action area for the design of low-emissions development strategies.

Mini-grids present one of the most economical opportunities to achieving universal access to electricity. However, there are several multifaceted challenges to unlocking and catalysing investment into commercial and small scale mini-grids, most notably developing an enabling regulatory environment.

The AMG-CoP has been conceptualised as a country driven initiative, with the inaugural meeting serving as a starting point for countries to identify common challenges and barriers, agree on the priority areas for further development and share lessons and strategies for addressing mini-grid development and rural electrification. Key priorities identified at the meeting include governance and policy for an enabling regulatory environment, business models and unlocking finance for mini-grid development.

The EWG and AfLP are acting as “co-pilots” and have designed a conceptual framework that provides guidance and flexibility to a country-driven, peer-to-peer learning and collaboration platform. The inauguration workshop saw ten African countries convene to discuss the pertinence of mini-grids to their respective countries and national priorities, and formed a close-knit group of peers that will build on this relationship moving forward.

The AMG-CoP will convene for the second time at the AfLP Annual Event, and interested parties, including State and non-State actors, are encouraged to contact the AfLP Secretariat for further information on how to get involved.

Transitioning towards energy efficiency: The case of Germany

 presentation  Comments Off on Transitioning towards energy efficiency: The case of Germany
Aug 112017

Presentation on energy effiiciency in the Energiewende, as delivered today at the World Expo on the Future of Energy in Astana, Kazakhstan.


Advancing bioelectricity in Latin America and the Caribbean

 presentation  Comments Off on Advancing bioelectricity in Latin America and the Caribbean
Aug 092017

A new report reviews the first year of the LEDS GP’s Bioelectricity Community of Practice in Latin America and the Caribbean, and outlines its key activities and outcomes.


No. of pages: 27
Author(s): Alexander Ochs, Philip Killeen, Ana Maria Majano
Organisation(s): LEDS LAC, LEDS GP

The Bioelectricity Community of Practice, run by the Regional Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean (LEDS LAC) and Energy Working Group, brings together LAC government leaders in charge of designing and implementing bioelectricity policies and programs. It gives them the opportunity to share tools for gathering and processing bioelectricity data to support decision-making. This report describes the activities of the Community of Practice from its inception in July 2016, and identifies the primary areas for tapping into biomass for electricity generation.

During sessions, practitioners applied what they learned to their individual country contexts and had the opportunity to discuss their results and collaborate on shared challenges with supporting experts across several online forums, including private Dropbox and LinkedIn groups.

The Community of Practice addressed key questions such as:

  • How to assess a country’s bioelectricity potential?
  • What technical challenges exist and how can they be addressed?
  • What support policies and measures exist, and how can they be integrated in a country’s existing legal framework?
  • How to create effective and cost-efficient administrative procedures?
  • What do national and international commercial banks and public funders look for?
  • How to design fundable and attractive Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)?

Participants noted that governments in the LAC region often lack access to quality data and tools to evaluate alternative options for bioelectricity development. Some of the knowledge gaps identified included a lack of: information on developing effective communication and collaboration between government ministries; research on available technologies, regulations, and resource assessments for electricity generation from agricultural biomass; and case studies of successful bioelectricity generation in other countries. However, country members also felt that through bioelectricity is not only a low emission alternative to fossil fuels, but economically viable as well. Opportunities such as accessing private sector finance, aligning national and subnational energy policies, and building public consensus on NAMAs could help realize its potential.

Workshop facilitators collaborated with the attendees to design 2017 work plan for the Community of Practice to be supported by LEDS LAC and the Energy Working Group. The 2017 work plan picks out the following priority areas:

  • Designing a comprehensive process for bioelectricity policy development;
  • Assessing resource potentials for bioelectricity;
  • Understanding markets and tradeoffs; and
  • Creating attractive bioelectricity markets.

The work plan outlined in detail in the report provides a comprehensive starting point for Community of Practice members to more effectively communicate bioelectricity sector risks and opportunities to their home institutions. On its own, however, this framework cannot catalyze the transformative change that members hope to achieve. In order to  build on progress made in 2016, the report recommends continued group-oriented activities and country-specific technical assistance.

Explore the Community of Practice priority areas, online materials, and more essential information in the full report.

Read more about the benefits of bioelectricity and the background of the Bioelectricity Community of Practice.