IRENA Outlines Importance of Off-Grid Solutions to Energy Access and Energy Poverty Challenges
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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published key findings and recommendations from the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC), during which participants stressed the key importance of off-grid solutions for alleviating energy poverty and fostering sustainable human development.

IRENA24 July 2013: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published key findings and recommendations from the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC), during which participants stressed the key importance of off-grid solutions for alleviating energy poverty and fostering sustainable human development.

One of the main recommendations coming out of the report for the event, which took place in Accra, Ghana, from 1-2 November 2012, is that off-grid renewable energy systems, stand-alone and mini-grids be integrated into rural electrification strategies and efforts. In order to realize this, however, the report notes that facilitative regulatory and institutional frameworks must be in place, along with enabling policies and sustainable sources of finance for such projects, many or all of which are currently lacking in many contexts where low access to modern energy services is currently a problem.

The report notes that creating such an enabling environment is needed to scale-up the already successful, but often very small scale efforts currently being undertaken. It claims such environments will foster the increased private sector involvement needed to rapidly extend access.

In addition to key recommendations for policymakers, the report contains sections on: enabling environment for off-grid RE deployment; policy and regulatory frameworks; institutional frameworks; financing and business models; and technologies and their applications.

IOREC was co-organized by IRENA, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). [Press release] [Publication: International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference 2012: Key Findings and Recommendations]