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.

From: https://africaledspartnership.org/en/2017/07/25/new-africa-mini-grids-community-of-practice-launched/

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.

New Africa Mini-grids Community of Practice Launched

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Aug 092017
 

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.

Latin America Enjoys Abundant Renewable Energy but Lacks Policies for Use

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Jun 182013
 

South and Central America could generate 100 percent of their electricity with renewable resources, a new study finds

By Lisa Friedman, Climatewire, picked up by Scientific American [here] and others

Latin America and the Caribbean could meet 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energy, a new Inter-American Development Bank study finds. From Mexico to Chile, countries already are producing higher levels of clean power, but the study notes the region still has a long way to go. Last year just 5.4 percent of the $244 trillion global renewable energy investment went to Latin America. But with Latin America’s economy expected to grow 3 percent annually, the study argues that the region will need to nearly double its installed power capacity to about 600 gigawatts by 2030 at a likely price tag of $430 billion.

The report, “Rethinking Our Energy Future,” will be released today at a Global Green Growth Forum meeting in Bogota, Colombia. It comes amid growing concern among energy experts that the region is not living up to its clean energy potential. (…)

Last week the Worldwatch Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., unveiled a Central America report also showing the region has the resources and the technical capacity to meet all its electricity needs with renewables. But, it argues, governments are undermining their own investments in geothermal, biomass, wind and solar with plans to increase imports of oil, coal and natural gas.

“Central America is at a crossroads,” Alexander Ochs, director of climate and energy at the Worldwatch Institute, said in the study. According to the study, Latin America currently generates about 7 percent of the world’s total electricity production, but demand is skyrocketing as population levels rise and the region’s economy improves. By midcentury, Latin America’s power demand is expected to triple while carbon emissions from the power sector will double. Continue reading »

Moving Renewable Energy Forward in Nicaragua

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Sep 132012
 

Adam Dolezal and Alexander Ochs | ReVolt | 13 September 2012

Para una versión en español de este blog, por favor hacer click aquí.

Last week, the Worldwatch Institute’s Central America team – together with our partners from the INCAE Business School – convened a working group of nearly 40 renewable energy experts and decision-makers in Managua, Nicaragua. The emphasis: access to energy for marginalized communities through sustainable energy options. With presentations and participation from the government’s renewable energy office, Nicaragua’s renewable energy association, an array of rural energy initiatives, and the region’s largest wind power developer, the working group took our research and potential for impact to a new level.

Participants from the workshop The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Nicaragua at INCAE Business School Campus in Managua, Nicaragua.

Worldwatch Director of Climate & Energy, Alexander Ochs, incited the round table forum to recall that the overarching goal of our efforts is not to promote renewable energy technology for its own sake– as so often the discussion can remain caught in technical details – but for the environmental, social and economic outcomes that clean and locally-generated energy provides. Renewable energy is a means to reach overarching policy priorities: giving access to modern energy sources, mitigating local pollution and climate change, and addressing important gender, health, and education issues. In a region where countries ship 5 to 15 percent of their GDP overseas for the import of fossil fuels-the use of which produces high additional social, environmental and economic costs- harvesting domestic renewable energy sources is a prerequisite for sustained economic growth. Continue reading »

Experts Assess Future of Renewable Energy in Central America

 newspaper interview, press release  Comments Off on Experts Assess Future of Renewable Energy in Central America
Aug 302012
 

The Worldwatch Institute and the INCAE Business School host high-level workshop on energy access and renewable energy potential in Central America

WASHINGTON – August 30 – The Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org) and the INCAE Business School’s Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) are co-hosting two workshops on “The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America” in Managua, Nicaragua and Alajuela, Costa Rica tomorrow and on September 3, respectively. The participative dialogues aim to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among a select group of experts from regional institutions, civil society organizations, energy sector companies, and government agencies. The workshops will focus on the role of renewable technologies in broadening access to modern energy services and achieving regional development goals.
(…)
“This project is a joint effort aimed at speeding the development of renewables in Central America,” said Alexander Ochs, Director of Worldwatch’s Climate and Energy Program. “Key energy experts will gather in one room to discuss the region’s challenges and opportunities in embracing renewables, discussing state-of-the-art reforms as well as areas of local, national, and regional best practices.”

“It’s not just that all countries will need to contribute to mitigating and adapting to global climate change.” continued Ochs. “Central America can become a real leader on renewables, given the high price it pays for its current energy system—-some countries spend 10 percent or more of their GDP on importing fossil fuels. The region has also had exciting early experiences with adopting new, unconventional renewable technologies, including geothermal, solar, biomass, and wind technologies.”

The first workshop will take place at the INCAE Business School’s Managua campus from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2012. The second workshop will take place at the INCAE Business School’s Alajuela campus from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 3, 2012.

[You can find the full announcement HERE]