United Nations has called on
businesses, governments, and
civil society to achieve Sustainable
Energy for All by 2030
Tools & Resources – February 2016
GLOBAL TOOLS AND RESOURCES:
United Nations Foundation Investment Directory and online portal showcase a billion dollar investment opportunity through funding needs of its Practitioner Network members
The recently released Investment Directory published by the United Nations Foundation highlights a range of financing opportunities presented by the growing number of companies and organizations in the decentralized renewable energy sector, including mini/micro grids companies. Sector funding needs as reported by the 210 member respondents for the next 12-24 months collectively amounted to a total of more than US $1.3 billion of which approximately $500 million of funding needs were attributed to mini/micro grid companies and projects. A copy of the report is available here and the interactive investment portal can be accessed here.
REGIONAL TOOLS AND RESOURCES:
Going off grid: Tata researchers tackle rural electrification
At MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, researchers are exploring ways to extend electricity access to rural communities in India using microgrids. They are approaching this from multiple angles—from mapping out national electrification networks by using a “Reference Electrification Model (REM)”, to providing planning assistance to rural entrepreneurs through a planning framework called GridForm, to developing the “uLink power management unit”, a technology intended to make it easier to build microgrids organically, by enabling residents to share extra power-generating capacity with their neighbors. While REM is a tool that can be used to inform policy decisions, GridForm helps to address certain barriers to entry for potential micro-grid entrepreneurs by rapidly identifying, digitizing, and modeling rural development sites. In addition, uLink, a “demand response” system can meter and control the flow of electricity based on the available supply of electricity.
India Lights, an ongoing project to track night lights as a proxy for electrification in Indian rural areas, has now released its findings. This includes a massive 4.4 billion data points across 600,000 Indian villages gleaned by processing combined satellite data from space agencies around the world. Using an interactive map created by researchers at the University of Michigan in the U.S., this data is now publically accessible. It tracks progress in electrification over a time span of 20 years (1993-2013).
Comparing the data from this project to that of the Indian government’s Central Electricity Authority has provided the ability to compare findings between planned and actual results in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Jharkhand. For instance, while the Ministry of Power is continuing its rural electrification drive in Jharkhand this this map shows that actual access to electricity is still lagging in terms of what constitutes an “electrified village” and those with “increasing electrification.”
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a tool for tracking progress on its “High-Five” key development priorities and creating opportunities for corrective action. The application tracks country progress in the High-Five areas identified by AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina as critical for implementing AfDB’s Strategy 2013- 2022 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, Industrialize Africa, and to improve the quality of life for people in Africa. The application presents ranking tables, maps and charts, as well as detailed information on indicators, grouped according to the High-Five priority areas. Access the tool here.
Beta version of TaqaWay sustainable energy knowledge portal for Arab States now available
TaqaWay sustainable energy knowledge portal is a joint collaborative initiative between the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Arab region’s Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), as well as a new cooperation partner of Energypedia. TaqaWay is a sustainable energy information system that provides tools for data analysis and benchmarking Arab States’ readiness and market capabilities in renewable energy and energy efficiency. It provides a central collaboration and monitoring platform for sustainable energy studies across the region. It also showcases projects, initiatives, field experts, energy prices, and other field-relevant information. TaqaWay is intended to help policy makers, non-governmental institutions, investors, academia, field experts, and researchers to find the reliable, accurate and updated information on sustainable energy in the region. It provides tools for data analysis and benchmarking Arab countries’ readiness and market capabilities in renewable energy and energy efficiency.