News

New Energy Access Reports – April 2017

Global Tracking Framework (GTF) 2017, World Bank/ESMAP & IEA as part of the Sustainable Energy for All Knowledge Hub

The report, now in its third edition, measures progress from 2012 to 2014 on three global sustainability goals: universal access to electricity and clean cooking, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

The report draws from official national level data and provides harmonized analysis at the regional and global levels. The 2013 edition measured progress between 1990 and 2010, while the 2015 report focused on progress from 2010–2012.

The report shows that the increase of people getting access to electricity is slowing down, and if this trend is not reversed, projections are that the world will only reach 92% electrification by 2030, still short of universal access. Only energy efficiency made progress towards meeting these objectives; with energy savings during the 2012-2014 GTF reporting period enough to supply Brazil and Pakistan combined.

While the research found that most countries are not doing enough, some are showing encouraging progress, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, and Rwanda. These countries underscore that accelerating progress towards universal access is possible with the right policies, robust investments (both public and private) and innovative technology.

To meet Sustainable Energy for All objectives, it is estimated that renewable energy investment would need to increase by a factor of 2-3, while energy efficiency investment would need to increase by a factor of 3-6. Estimates suggest that a five-fold increase would be needed to reach universal access by 2030.


Renewables Global Futures Report, REN21

This report presents views of 114 renowned energy experts from around the world on the feasibility and challenges of achieving a 100% renewable energy future. Their thoughts are grouped into 12 Great Debates ranging from the future of heating and transport, the interconnection of sectors, the role of mega-cities and what utilities of the future could look like. The report presents a wide range of expert

opinions and is meant to spur discussion and debate about both the opportunities and challenges of

achieving a 100% renewable energy future by mid-century.


Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress, Power for All

While recent technological advances have transformed the economics of rural electrification, many energy-poor countries are not taking full advantage of the energy evolution to accelerate access. This paper provides evidence that integrating decentralized renewable energy (DRE) into national energy policy and strategy will provide the fastest, cleanest, most cost-effective path to universal energy access. Specifically, governments can accelerate electrification by including DRE in national energy policies and rural electrification plans, integrating DRE in energy system planning, and instituting collaborative DRE stakeholder policy design.


The Economic Impact of Solar Lighting: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment in Rural Kenya, ETH Zürich, Acumen, Solar Aid and Google

This publication includes findings from a randomized control trial study in Kenya that looks into impact of solar lights on household’s well-being. According to the study, solar lights do tend to improve welfare but their effort are not transformational in the sense that they would help to lift people out of poverty. Nevertheless, the adoption of solar lights also reduced kerosene lighting use of households by about half.


Perspectives for the energy transition: Investment needs for a low-carbon energy system, IEA and IRENA

This first joint study by IRENA and IEA looks at the potential for decarbonization in the energy sector in G20 countries and around the world. To meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement and keep the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, the carbon-dioxide (CO2) emission intensity of the global economy would need to be reduced by 85% in 35 years. This means reducing energy CO2 emissions by 2.6% per year on average, or 0.6 gigatonnes (Gt) per year in absolute terms.

REmap – IRENA’s global roadmap for the transition – energy demand by 2050 could be about the same as in 2015, thanks to significant energy efficiency improvements. The supply mix however, would change substantially, with the share of renewables in total primary energy supply reaching two thirds by 2050.

But for this to happen, the growth rate for renewables – while already considerable – must double. Renewables currently make up nearly one fifth of total global energy supply and accounted for more than half of all global capacity additions for power generation in 2012-2016.

Renewables are already cost competitive in many situations, with technology costs continuing to fall and the potential for economic applications continuing to grow. Governments must create the enabling policy framework to spur the acceleration of the transition, including long-term stability for private investments in renewables. Subsidies that sustain ageing conventional energy industries should be abandoned in order to level the playing field. Modern energy access, fair competition and sustainable development need to underpin energy policy making.


Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investments Report 2017, UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The new edition of this authoritative annual report tells the story of the latest developments, signs and signals in the financing of renewable power and fuels. Full of statistics, charts and illuminating narrative, it explores the issues affecting each type of investment, technology and region.

  • Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation, although total investment was $241.6 billion (excluding large hydro), the lowest since 2013. The corresponding new capacity from renewables was equivalent to 55 per cent of all new power, the highest to date.
  • Wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up 9 per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before.

Microgrid Market Analysis & Investment Opportunities in India, Indonesia and Tanzania, Allotrope Partners and Microgrid Investment Accelerator

Between September 2016 and February 2017, the MIA team at Allotrope Partners conducted extensive market research to inform the design of the MIA facility by evaluating microgrid conditions, drivers and policies, and by identifying areas where further research is needed. To these ends, the MIA team conducted desk research, field visits, and structured interviews with experts and practitioners in target microgrid markets.

This analysis will inform the initial stages of the MIA design process. Overall, this assessment highlighted numerous, promising opportunities in the microgrid market, but challenges related to business models, policy and finance have dampened private investment flows and thus far prevented developers from reaching market potential. Key findings from this analysis are included below and discussed in greater detail in the forthcoming report. Building on these findings, Allotrope Partners will continue to engage microgrid practitioners, investors, and other experts to inform the design of the MIA facility.


Energy Within Reach: Growing the Mini-grid Market in Sub-Saharan Africa, Rocky Mountain Institute

The study finds that cost reduction and service improvements, supported by coordinated financing from development agencies and clear off-grid plans from African governments, could allow mini-grids to capture an increasing share of the $740 million sub-Saharan off-grid market, and to reach up to 31 million people in the region who are without electricity access but with the means to pay.

The report recommends the following next steps to accelerate mini-grid adoption and innovation:

Private sector –

  • Focus on continued cost-reduction and service improvements. Opportunities include better site selection, integrated hardware and software packages, modular capacity, specialized local project development and management expertise, aggregated finance.
  • Focus on end-use service instead of power consumption to take advantage of and share the cost savings of high efficiency lamps and other appliances.

Development partners –

  • Play a coordinating and financing role by facilitating discussion between governments and the private sector, and providing carefully placed technical assistance and advocacy for a clear set of mini-grid enabling policies.
  • Blended finance, coordinated by development partners, can begin to leverage outside investment while supporting efforts to better understand the due diligence and de-risking that will be required for full handoff to commercial financiers.

National Governments –

  • Provide predictable enabling environments for mini-grids.
  • Reduce regulatory risk for companies and their investors with: Clear, comprehensive off-grid energy plans; Streamlined import procedures; Dependable incentives for renewables and energy efficient appliances; and Education and awareness campaigns that communicate to citizens the role of off-grid products, and mini-grids in particular.

Energy Storage Trends and Opportunities in Emerging Markets, IFC and ESMAP

Energy storage is a crucial tool for enabling the effective integration of renewable energy and unlocking the benefits of solar and wind power for emerging markets.  But how big is the opportunity, and how imminent?

This report finds that energy storage deployments in emerging markets are expected to grow 40 percent annually over the coming decade, resulting in about 80 gigawatts of new storage capacity. This will be a significant increase upon the less than 2 GW of capacity currently in place.

The report outlines the principal uses, drivers, and challenges regarding the commercialization of energy storage technologies in low- and middle-income countries, providing a forecast of expected deployments by region and impacts on energy access, grid stability, and other key areas. Technical review was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Investment Center.

  • The largest energy storage markets in the coming decade are expected to be China and India, supported by those countries’ ambitious renewable energy targets.
  • Latin America is another attractive market for energy storage development, given the region’s renewable energy roll-out plans – particularly in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.
  • In South Africa, storage is expected to be driven by greater integration of renewables.
  • In MENA, many countries are looking to deploy large amounts of renewable energy to reduce the amount of domestic fossil fuels used for local power generation – freeing up that fuel to be sold abroad, bringing in revenue for government programs.

Eco Design Note #7: Product Repair Part II: Manufacturer best practices, Lighting Global

This new Eco Design Note continues a discussion about product repair, focusing on steps that manufacturers can take to enable and encourage the repair of their products. The Note identifies three elements that can assist in repair efforts. These include designing a product for repair, making replacement parts available to local repair shops, and publishing technical information that can assist service technicians. The development of viable repair options for consumers will build confidence in renewable energy products and help markets continue to grow and thrive.

Topics for this and other Lighting Global Eco Design and Technical Notes may be suggested at any time by emailing qa@lightingglobal.org. Click here for more Eco Design Notes.


Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa, Africa Progress Panel

This report is a follow-up to the Africa Progress Panel’s annual flagship report Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities, published in June 2015. The 2015 report explored the links between energy, climate and development in Africa. It documented the risks that would come with a business-as-usual approach and highlighted the opportunities for African leaders.

This new paper seeks to build on the political momentum that has been created over the past year to increase energy access in Africa. Its main aim is to provide additional policy-relevant information and insights to support the implementation of ambitious new public and private initiatives now underway that aim to increase energy access swiftly across Africa, especially the New Deal on Energy for Africa, spearheaded by the African Development Bank. In light of the continent’s dynamic links with the rest of the world, the paper also highlights critical steps that must be taken by leaders in the international public and private sectors.


Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) 2017-2027, IDTechEx report

This report looks at the addressable markets and technologies and offers forecasts and roadmaps based on ongoing AWE interviews and analysis worldwide. The report finds that there are two primary addressable markets requiring very different forms of AWE optimized to very different parameters – low power off-grid mobile with a wide variety of priorities and high power on-grid static versions focused intensely on Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE).