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Bulletin October 2016
Selected news and information on European Energy Development Cooperation
No. 5 | October 2016
- 16th International Economic Forum on Africa; Paris, France; 29 September 2016|Event Details
- Environment Council; Brussels, Belgium; 30 September|Event Details
- Creating green banking markets in Africa; Casablanca, Morocco; 12 October|Event Details
- 5th International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation 2016; Toronto, Canada; 15-16 October|Event Details
- Foreign Affairs Council; Brussels, Belgium; 17 October|Event Details
- UN Habitat III Conference; Quito, Ecuador; 17-20 October|Event Details
- 44th Session of the IPCC; Bangkok, Thailand; 17-20 October|Event Details
- 7th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development; Baku, Azerbaijan; 18-21 October|Event Details
- Sustainable Development Goals for Asia and Europe – Delivery Options for the 2030 Agenda; Stockholm, Sweden; 19-20 October2016|Event Details
- Res4Africa Program Launch - A step change in the deployment of Renewable Energy in Eastern Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; 26-27 October [Invitation only]|Event Details
- 12th IRENA Council Meeting; Abu Dhabi; 1-2 November|Event Details
- UNFCCC COP 22; Marrakesh, Morocco; 07-18 November|Event Details
- World Energy Outlook (IEA) launch; London, UK; 16 November|Event Details
News from the European Union: Covering the launch of the EIP, informal development council and EP reports
In the Spotlight: With a international focus, from the UNGA and G20 to the Green Growth Week
Opportunities for the Private Sector: Offering support to SMEs, mini-grids and partnerships for solar
Africa Focus: Learning from Kenya’s energy access successes, a new US-Japan partnership and additional funding for Niger and Ethiopia
News from the Member States: Focussing on COP22 efforts, the Slovakian Presidency, and a move from DEVCO to Denmark
Media Suggestions: Including webinars, reports and
NEWS FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
Launch of new EU External Investment Plan to boost private investment for Sustainable Development
Sustainable growth, job opportunities for youth and boosting private investment are central to the European Investment Plan, presented by Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union 2016 speech, held on the 14th of September. A new European External Investment Plan (EIP), aiming to encourage investment in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood, is a core element of these efforts. The main instrument of the EIP is a new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), composed of two regional investment platforms for Africa and for the Neighbourhood. With an input of €3.35 billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund, the EIP seeks to mobilise up to €44 billion of private investment. If member states and other partners match the EU’s contribution, the total amount could reach €88 billion.
More information about the EU Investment Plans can be found here.
A factsheet about the EIP in particular is available in German via this link.
Informal Development Council meets in Brussels under Slovakian Presidency
Development cooperation instruments addressing migratory pressures, including the newly announced EU External Investment Plan, were at the centre of an informal meeting of European Ministers for Development, held on the 12th of September in Brussels. The Council was the first in the development ‘format’ during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, and was chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Among the items discussed was the interlinking of security and development, the current revision of the European Consensus on Development with a focus on middle-income countries, and the review of the EU’s relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
For additional information and contact, please see the official Slovakian Presidency website.
“Doing more with less”: European Parliament calls for increased action on development effectiveness
The European Parliament’s Committee on Development has released a report on the EU’s and other stakeholders’ progress on aid and development effectiveness in recent years. This comes in the run-up to the High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), taking place in November in Nairobi, Kenya, and the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the commitments made in Busan. Overall, the report states that the EU has taken a leading role in effective development cooperation, and important steps have been taken to increase transparency of aid, improve joint programming, address the issue of conflict and fragility, as well as to measure results. The Parliaments’ rapporteur highlights, however that more needs to be done. The report also calls for a better integration of the GPEDC and the SDGs, and for the use of synergies between the two in order to fulfil the overall idea of development effectiveness: doing more with less.
The full report can be downloaded here.
Joint workshop on harmonising monitoring of energy access showcases ongoing efforts and highlights open issues
On the 20th of September the European Commission, GIZ and KfW hosted an international workshop on the harmonisation of principles and methodologies for monitoring access to energy. The event was implemented with the support of the EU Energy Initiative. The one-day workshop brought together experts and practitioners from a range of international organisations, initiatives and agencies to discuss current work in monitoring energy access, open questions and possible solutions to challenges being faced. Sharing insights brought out common themes and challenges faced by the organisations, and the need for greater collaboration and a harmonisation of approaches.
The presentations held by speakers (including from the World Bank, SE4All, IEA and the European Commission, can be found here. Recognising the need for further collaboration and continued coordination, participants also agreed to hold a further workshop to address open issues and technical details in the spring.
Environment MEPs push member states to speed up ratification of Paris agreement
Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have recommended that the EP give its consent to the ratification of the Paris Agreement, and have urge member states to speed up their ratification processes to ensure that the agreement enters into force soon. This comes as the Environment Council on the 30th of September is expected to agree on the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, enabling ratification by the EU in October before the next round of UNFCCC negotiations take place in Marrakech, Morocco, from the 7-18 of November.
In their recommendations, MEPs expressed regret that the sum of all submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), needed for the ratification process, so far is insufficient and “does not bring the world even close to the two degree target”. The committee thus stressed the urgent need for all parties, including the EU, to raise their emission reduction commitments for 2030. MEPs also called for recognition of the issue of climate refugees.
For full news on the EP’s position, see here.
Not just business as usual: Evaluation and Future of Cotonou Partnership Agreement
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, signed in 2000, has contributed to the strengthening of democracy and human rights in the ACP region. This is one of the central findings of the Evaluation of the CPA. However, the report also points out that some ACP governments remain reluctant to address politically sensitive issues, and that the level of involvement of civil society in political processes varies considerably from country to country. The evaluation report nevertheless identifies some “strong features” of the partnership, among them a structured political dialogue between the EU and most ACP governments, and the CPA’s contribution to regional mechanisms for addressing peace and security issues, in particular through the African Peace Facility. An increase of trade flows between the partners is also highlighted, not least thanks to the increasing number of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
The evaluation comes as attention turns to what next for the CPA, with the current agreement expiring in 2020. A paper put forward during the Dutch Presidency outlines four possible scenarios for future cooperation, based either on a more collective, regionalised or a mixed approach.
More information on the evaluation of the CPA can be found here.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
G20 conference in Hangzhou: Criticism despite Chinas’ and US commitment to Paris Agreement
Advancing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was high on the agenda of the G20’s summit in Hangzhou, China. A highlight was the commitment by the USA and China to ratify the Paris Agreement, increasing the likelihood for the agreement to entry into force soon. Furthermore, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined new plans for expanding their joint efforts on climate change.
Despite these long-awaited commitments and other statements by the G20 in favour of renewable energy and green finance investment, a number of civil society organisations have criticised the lack of progress by the G20 on abolishing fossil fuel subsidies – a key element of fulfilling the Paris Agreement.
For the full G20 Leaders’ Communiqué of the Summit refer to this link.
Focussing on COP22: Countries redouble efforts to implement Paris Agreement at UN General Assembly
With only a few more weeks to go before the next UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, leaders around the world are increasing their efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and to make COP22 a success. At the recent UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, what Ban Ki-Moon called a “diverse group” of world leaders committed to ratify and deposit their legal instruments this year. With the commitments made thus-far, one of the thresholds for the Paris Agreement to enter into force (55 countries) has already been passed, and it is highly likely that the second (55% of global emissions) will be met this year given the pledges already made – “we will cross the final barrier for entry into force of the Paris agreement” the UN Secretary General said in New York.
Also on the UNGA agenda were the SDGs as they neared their first birthday. Analysis shows a strong alignment between these and the Paris Agreement, strengthening optimism that “implementing them together has the potential to generate significant mutual benefits” as WRI has found.
Climate Diplomacy and Green Growth Weeks convene on important issues
From the 12th to the 18th of September embassies around the world celebrated the Climate Diplomacy Week, with events taking place to highlight climate action in the EU and beyond. Conferences, citizens’ debates, exhibitions, films and social media activities were part of a broad programme to encourage informed debate and a joint response to the climate challenge.
Read the full news here.
Additionally, more than 1,200 participants for the 2016 Global Green Growth Week, which took place from the 5-9 September on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. There they discussed the challenges of promoting growth that is socially inclusive, based on sustainable and renewable energies and provides financing for green growth objectives. Organised by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the week included the fourth annual conference of the Global Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) and the Global Green Growth Summit. The Summit convened over 300 heads of private and public financial institutions, heads of governments, and project developers to explore ways to increase the flow of ‘green finance' to sustainable development projects, especially for sustainable cities, renewable energies, and resilience building.
For more information and highlights of the Global Green Growth week, see here.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR
EEP support to SMEs for innovative solar PV business in Africa
Small and medium sized companies who want to invest in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and implement projects in Southern and Eastern Africa, can find large-scale support through the Energy and Environment Partnership programme in Southern and Eastern Africa (EEP S&EA).
The programme provides grant funding to companies, organisations and institutions, and is funded by Finland, the UK and Austria. EEP has already built a portfolio of over 200 projects for co-funding. Knowledge management and business development support are offered as additional services - all with the aim of creating a market for clean energy projects with development impact. Solar PV projects represent the largest share of projects in the EEP portfolio, with 33% of all projects financed and 40% of EEP’s total project investment (€20 million). The 68 solar PV projects are spread across 12 of the 13 EEP countries, with the bulk (73%) implemented in East Africa.
More information on key business models and conditions of application is available here.
Mini-grid portal for Tanzania launched
A special portal providing comprehensive information for investors interested in developing renewable mini grids in Tanzania is now available online. It was developed under the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP). The programme was prepared under the leadership of the Government of Tanzania, through a National Task Force, led by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals. The broader objective of SREP is to catalyse the large-scale deployment of renewable energy in Tanzania, including a specific component on mini-grids.
The portal contains information about licensing and financing as well as a library amended by geographically anchored information and a directory to allow the self-registration of state authorities, local authorities, financing institutions and other entities of relevance to mini-grid development.
Direct access to the portal is provided here.
SolarPower Europe and RECP team-up to promote solar investment in Africa
To expedite and support solar investment, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, SolarPower Europe, a member-led association succeeding the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), and the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) have teamed up to facilitate business cooperation between African and European stakeholders. Pooling resources of market information and specific project opportunities is at the centre of the joint effort. This will lead to targeted activities, closing the gap between European companies seeking investment opportunities and local African partners on the ground. SolarPower Europe will also be incorporating the objectives of its Solar Bankability Project into the RECP events.
An online African Solar Investment Forum will be hosted by SolarPower Europe on 4October.
For more details on the whole initiative, please see this page.
Bringing solar systems to Ethiopian households: financing extra loans with emissions reductions
The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), in partnership with the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s Fund for the poorest countries, is providing capital loans to private sector household solar providers, as well as micro-finance to households, for the purchase of solar lanterns and solar home systems (SHS) through a $20 million credit line. Another $20 million line of credit was recently approved by the World Bank as part of $200 million of additional financing to the Electricity Network Reinforcement and Expansion Project.
To further support uptake and consumer confidence in new off-grid technologies, the Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev), a $125 million fund with a pipeline of 12 pilot projects in Africa, has also been established. It delivers additional funding to the project through the purchase of greenhouse gas emission reductions, and supports customers in financing battery replacement and other maintenance costs of SHS.
More information can be found via the World Bank.
Energy access, a cleaner environment and more jobs: $1 million grant for mini-grids in Niger
The Republic of Niger has been awarded a grant of some US $1 million from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), run by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to promote green mini-grids (GMGs) and private investments in this sector. The project supports the government in providing access to energy to at least 15% of people living in rural areas by 2020. This is done through off-grid and mini-grid solutions, with a 15 MW installed GMG capacity by that time. The programme is expected to significantly contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and the creation of renewable energy-sector jobs.
The project will provide support to GMG developers through a business plan competition and feasibility studies; it will analyse and validate GMG operational models and business cases; and work to remove any fiscal, institutional, technical or quality constraints.
More information about the grant can be found on this page.
Japan enhances large-scale energy development and trade in Africa
The Government of Japan wants to bring an additional 1,200 megawatts (MW) of power to sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2018. This is the main commitment of a new partnership agreement between Japan and Power Africa. The agreement represents the United States and Japan’s shared commitment to contribute to the global effort to achieve the SDGs, and SDG7 in particular. The partnership also focuses on advancing the geothermal sector in East Africa and enhancing cross-border energy trade.
In addition, about 22 companies from Japan and Africa signed 73 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, (TICAD VI), in August 2016. They aim to enhance trade with Africa and include sectors such as energy, infrastructure, private equity and agribusiness.
Learn more about the Power Africa-Japan partnership here.
Information on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development can be found here.
Five lessons from Kenya’s energy access boom
At a recent event with policy-makers in Zimbabwe, Micheni Murithii, First Secretary, Kenyan Embassy in Harare, shared his insights into how other countries might enjoy similar success to that of Kenya. The country’s market for decentralised renewables is the fastest moving in Africa, with 3,000 MW of micro hydro, a pioneering mini-grid programme and 15-20% of Kenyan households already using solar lighting. At the event, Murithii shared five lessons which can be learned from Kenya’s energy access boom. Changing perceptions of decentralised renewables is the first step, helping policy makers and the nation to understand that these are not second best solutions. Privatisation, encouraging private investment through a favourable environment, and aligning these with support for consumer financing are also key to success. The fifth lesson learned is to create a strong, transparent independent regulatory agency for energy at the national level. Only if these prerequisites are met, can progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG7, be made.
For more information, also on other countries’ case studies, refer to this link.
NEWS FROM THE MEMBER STATES
Slovakia, under its current EU presidency, is chairing a meeting of EU Environment Ministers on the 30th of September, with the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change on the agenda. It comes before the next UN climate conference, taking place in November in Marrakech. Slovakia is also dedicated to accelerate its own national ratification process to set an example. So far, only France, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have ratified the agreement.
For more info, click here.
The European Commission has appointed Stina Soewarta as the new Head of the European Commission Representation in Denmark. She takes up the post after having previously been Head of Unit for Communication in the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), designing and overseeing communication campaigns including the European Year for Development in 2015.
For more info, see here.
The French government is supporting Kenya with a 33 million € credit in order to install 23 solar mini-grid power stations with the capacity to produce 9.6 MW of power, and to connect households in remote northern Kenya to electricity. A 0.6 MW mini-grid wind power plant will also be installed as part of the project, scaling up projected wind power production in the country in the next four years. This latest initiative will see power stations put up across seven arid counties in northern Kenya. So far these regions have been reliant on thermal energy, leaving hundreds of thousands of pastoralist communities without power.
For the full news, see this page.
A new partnership platform for developing countries to find solutions to climate change was announced by Germany in Rabat in September by Thomas Silberhorn, Undersecretary of State in the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Together with the Moroccan Minister for Environment, Hakima El Haitè, the countries presented the partnership, which aims to support developing countries in their national plans for climate protection. Germany, as initiator of the new partnership process, and Morocco, the host of the next UN climate conference, share the presidency of the platform’s Steering Committee.
The German government will also finance a secretariat, with headquarters in Washington D.C., USA and in the German city of Bonn. The partnership will officially be launched at the climate conference in Marrakech and membership is open to every country in the world.
For more information (in German), see here.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has publicly promised to ratify the Paris Agreement by the end of 2016. Speaking at the United Nations in New York, she stated that the UK remained determined to “play our part in the international effort against climate change”. May’s decision to speed up ratification will relieve green campaigners and charities amid worries that the new Prime Minister could start retreating from Britain’s position as a leader on tackling climate change after leaving the EU.
Further information on the speech and campaigners’ fears can be found here.
u Report: IRENA: Unlocking Renewable Energy Investment: The role of risk mitigation and structured finance
u Report: IRENA: Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets
u Manual: Finance Guide for Policy-Makers: Renewable Energy, Green Infrastructure
u Opinion: Electricity beyond the Grid: Accelerating Access to Sustainable Power for All
u Analysis: Cost and Returns of Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A comparison of Kenya and Ghana
u Webinar: IRENA and REEP: Renewables Tagger Tool
u Webinar: Clean Energy Solution Centre: Energy Efficiency for Energy Access: The Role of Social Innovation in Driving Change
u E-Tutorial: UNITAR: On Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
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