IRENA Report Stresses Off-grid Renewable Energy for Universal Electricity Access
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A market-based approach to the deployment of off-grid renewable energy is essential for achieving the goal of universal electricity access, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The publication presents the conclusions of the Second International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC 2014) and the results of a survey conducted among more than 400 stakeholders from South and South-East Asia.

IRENAFebruary 2015: A market-based approach to the deployment of off-grid renewable energy is essential for achieving the goal of universal electricity access, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The publication presents the conclusions of the Second International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC 2014) and the results of a survey conducted among more than 400 stakeholders from South and South-East Asia.

The report, titled ‘Accelerating Off-grid Renewable Energy,’ draws key findings and makes recommendations based on the seven sessions organized during the conference, which centered on market development, socio-economic impacts, financing and technology.

On policy and regulatory requirements for the development of markets for stand-alone renewable energy systems, the report outlines possible measures, including: realistic plans; abiding by the plan with stable and predictable policies; targeted support; subsidy reform; and support to innovation.

On policy and regulatory aspects relating to the development of markets for renewable-energy based mini-grids, the report recommends facilitating private sector participation through: a legal framework that allows participation; cost-reflective tariff structures; support to developers that identify locations not expected to be served by the national grid; and a regulatory framework that supports integration of mini-grids with the main grid.

It is estimated that 60% of the additional generation necessary to achieve universal electricity access must come from off-grid sources. According to Adnan Amin, IRENA Director-General, without universal access to electricity based on a combination of grid-based and off-grid solutions, “the broader objectives of all-inclusive sustainable development cannot be met.” Consequently, he noted, sustainable energy is “increasingly emerging as the central pillar in deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda.”

Universal electricity access by 2030 is one of the goals of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.

The second IOREC, which received the participation of more than 400 stakeholders, was organized by IRENA, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) in Manila, the Philippines, from 16-17 June 2014. Videos and presentations from IOREC 2014 are available on the conference website. [IRENA Publication Webpage] [Publication: Accelerating Off-grid Renewable Energy IOREC 2014: Key Findings and Recommendations] [IOREC Website] [IISD RS Story on First IOREC Report]


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