Abu Dhabi, UAE – A new series of game-changing assessments to help countries transition to renewable energy was launched on January 17 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) during the World Future Energy Summit (WFES 2013) in Abu Dhabi.
The world’s first four comprehensive Renewables Readiness Assessments (RRAs) were published for Mozambique, Senegal, Kiribati and Grenada – a country-led, consensual and collaborative tool to identify effective policies, craft investor friendly regulations, and to bring together stakeholders to build a lasting renewable energy architecture. The reports can be found on www.irena.org.
The RRAs analyse and make recommendations on the five key constituents of the renewable energy project lifecycle:
- establishing a business model,
- setting policy and strategy,
- honing institutional and regulatory structures,
- identifying resources and technology, and
- financing, building, operating and maintaining the final project.
They then identify eight key actions to kick-start the process.
Initial findings for the four countries include:
- Senegal is very committed to renewables, with an articulated institutional and policy framework. It is one of the first countries to pass a renewable energy law in West Africa;
- Senegal has good wind potential along the cost, and solar potential throughout;
- Senegal has set-up a rural electrification agency, which has secured international funding and private sector support to provide renewable energy in rural areas;
- Senegal is also home to the first Solar PV module manufacturing in West Africa, with a yearly capacity of 25 MW;
- Senegal is developing a renewable energy tariff structure, tariff levels and model Power Purchase Agreement.
- Mozambique has more than 12 GW of hydro potential, and currently has 2 GW of installed hydro capacity. It is developing many new hydro projects.
- Mozambique has good wind potential, mainly along the coast. It is conducting ground assessment to better measure this potential.
- Mozambique is running a successful Rural Energy Fund that is helping to give rural communities access to renewable energy. The fund has been strongly supported by the government and has attracted investment from donors.
- The Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique runs renewable energy studies in a number of graduate level courses, which has helped provide expertise to many energy-related government department and agencies.
- Kiribati identified the need to set up clear medium-term targets for fuel import reduction and complement it with enhancing the share of renewables in its energy mix. This will be a significant step for Kiribati’s move towards energy independence.
- The 2009 Kiribati Energy Policy should be modified to reflect the enhanced use of renewable energy, and the role of the private sector development should be clarified. A National Energy Co-ordinating Committee (KNECC) should be established to oversee and guide the development of renewable energy programmes and projects.
- While small scale off-grid solar PV systems have been in use in Kiribati since the 1970s, experience in large-scale grid-connected solar PV applications is limited. More capacity building is needed for its transition to renewable energy.
- Grenada has joined forces with the other countries in the Caribbean to set up an independent regulator for the electricity market.
- A concessionary agreement for geothermal is being finalised in order to provide long term energy security to the island.
- Grenada’s interconnection policy is being reviewed to promote business models that can increase the deployment of renewables.
- Grenada is creating an enabling policy framework to encourage the uptake of solar water heaters for domestic and commercial water heating.