Bulletin May 2017

 European Union Energy Initiative (EUEI)


EUEI Bulletin

Selected news and information on European Energy Development Cooperation

No. 11 | May 2017

Dear EUEI Members, dear Readers,

With a busy Spring ahead, we are pleased to share with you the May edition of the EUEI Bulletin.

In this edition we report back from a number of events relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals, feature reports and activities relevant to energy in development cooperation, and have collated a suite of materials to support you in your work. As always we are keen to hear from you and to feature your activities. Please feel free to contact us if you have information you would like to share with EUEI Members.

We look forward to the next EUEI Advisory Board meeting and hope to see you there, so please do indicate your availability to support with scheduling the meeting. Otherwise we are sure to see you at the forthcoming Vienna Energy Forum or the European Development Days as we work together on European energy development cooperation.

With regards from Brussels,

Your team of the EUEI support project, EUEI PDF



  • EIB Workshop Renewable Energy outside the EU; 25 April; Brussels, Belgium| Event Details
  • 30th ASEAN Summit; 26-27 April; Manila, Philippines | Event Details
  • First Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development; 26-28 April; Mexico City, Mexico | Event Details
  • ICLEI Resilient Cities 2017; 4-5 May; Bonn, Germany | Event Details
  • 2017 World Hydropower Congress; 9-11 May; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Event Details
  • EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum; 9-11 May; Nicosia, Cyprus | Event Details
  • Energy Forum; 9-12 May; Vienna, Austria | Event Details
  • Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum); 15-16 May; New York, USA | Event Details
  • 2017 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up; 22-25 May; New York, USA | Event Details
  • Innovate4Climate - Finance & Markets Week; 22-26 May; Barcelona, Spain | Event Details
  • European Sustainable Development Week; 30 May-5 June; Europe-wide | Event Details
  • Innovations in Infrastructure Development and Promoting Sustainable Industrialization: 31 May; New York, USA | Event Details
  • InterSolar Europe; 31 May-2 June; Munich, Germany | Event Details
  • Off-grid Power Conference at InterSolar Europe; 31 May-1 June; Munich, Germany | Event Details
  • Expo 2017: Future Energy; 1-11 June; Astana, Kazakhstan | Event Details
  • Asia Clean Energy Forum; 5-8 June; Manila, Philippines | Event Details
  • Clean Energy Ministerial 8 (CEM8); 6-8 June; Beijing, China | Event Details
  • European Development Days; 7-8 June; Brussels, Belgium | Event Details
  • Africa Energy Forum; 7-9 June; Copenhagen, Denmark | Event Details
  • Africa Solar & Energy Storage Congress & Expo; 27-28 June; Nairobi, Kenya | Event Details
  • 9th Africa Carbon Forum; 28-30 June; Cotonou, Benin | Event Details



News from the European Union : With updates from the G7 Energy Ministerial side event, the recent RGI meeting, and reflections on the new European Consensus on Development

In the Spotlight : Reporting back from the SEforALL Forum, the GCF Board meeting, reports underlining the continued growth in renewables and a new roadmap on SDG implementation in the Asia-Pacific region

Opportunities for the Private Sector : Featuring information on the UN DESA 2017 Energy Grant and business-focused sessions at the forthcoming European Development Days

Africa Focus : Including a new GIZ mapping tool for West Africa, and news from the AfDB Energy Week Conference and its $12 bn electrification programme

News from the Member States : Including the VEF, countries’ new white papers and key policy documents, and co-facilitation of the preparation of the forthcoming ECOSOC FfD Forum

Media Suggestions : With the latest relevant blogs, reports, tools and webinars



Africa-EU Energy Partnership holds side event at G7 Energy Ministers Meeting in Rome

On the 9th of April 2017, in light of the G7 Energy Ministerial Meeting and under the auspices of the Italian G7 Presidency, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) hosted the official G7 side event dedicated to Africa in collaboration with Enel Foundation and RES4Africa. The side event focused on the current status of the power market on the continent and on how to accelerate sustainable energy access. The panelists agreed that Africa’s transition to sustainable energy will mainly depend on the appropriate enabling policies and regulatory frameworks, as well as on bottom-up innovation dynamics and business models.

The event resulted in a Communiqué with recommendations on measures which will help accelerate sustainable energy access on the African continent. The Communiqué was conveyed to the G7 Energy Ministers on the Sunday by David Otieno, Head of the Secretariat of the AEEP. The Italian Minister of Development Cooperation Carlo Calenda highlighted in his opening remarks the outcomes of the side event and the theme of the energy partnership between the European Union and Africa.

The side event was attended by over 200 international participants, mainly from Europe and Africa, including several high-level government representatives. These included the Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda, the Italian Vice-Minister for Economic Development Teresa Bellanova, the Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Motome Takisawa, and the State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Rainer Baake.

Further information about the side event is available via the AEEP and the RES4Africa websites, including pictures of the event.  


Report back from the 2017 Reference Group on Infrastructure Meeting

The Reference Group on Infrastructure (RGI) met in Brussels on the 24th-25th of April to shape the future of strategic Africa-EU infrastructure cooperation in the run-up to the 5th Africa-EU Summit. The RGI consists of representatives from the energy, transport, water & sanitation and ICT sectors, with meetings both in plenary and in sectoral break-out sessions. Together the participants worked to develop the Roadmap 2018-2020, intended to meet the challenges of job creation, investment and economic development, governance, urbanisation, resilience and climate change. In her opening remarks Commissioner Abou-Zeid of the AUC highlighted the key role of job creation, women and youth to break the energy poverty circle.

The meeting came shortly after the Global Infrastructure Forum 2016, which convened key development partners in infrastructure and the multilateral development banks (MDBs) in Washington D.C., on the 22nd of April. One of the Forum’s eight breakout sessions, hosted by the AfDB and EIB, was dedicated to energy finance in Africa, with another entitled “The Role of National Development Banks in Facilitating a Sustainable Energy Mix”, thus highlighting the important work needed to help crowd-in investments in energy infrastructure. MDBs pledged at the event to both leverage their resources to co-finance projects with the private sector and to help generate interest among private sector investors in Public-Private Partnerships.


EPRS Briefing asks if revised Consensus on Development will be fit for purpose

As the interinstitutional negotiations on the revised European Consensus on Development continue, the European Parliament Research Services has published a briefing asking whether it will be fit for purpose. The paper outlines again the European Parliament’s key position that “the fight against poverty and hunger…remain a primary goal” and that governments “maintain official development aid (ODA) as the backbone of EU development policy”.




Latest OECD DAC statistics show rise in ODA spending

The OECD released the preliminary figures for development spending in April, with data for 2016 showing an increase of 8.9% from 2015, bringing total spending up to a new peak of USD 142.6 billion in 2016. Part of the increase was accounted for by spending on refugees in donor countries. Further, the data showed a decrease in bilateral ODA to the least developed countries, and a fall in aid to Africa. In 2016 six countries achieved the UN goal of spending 0.7 % of GNI on ODA – Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the UK.


Update from the 3rd SEforALL Forum in New York, 3-5 April 2017

The 3rd SEforALL Forum took place from the 3rd-5th April in New York and brought together over 1,000 high-level representatives from government, civil society, business and international organisations on the theme of 'Going Further, Faster – Together'. The Forum aimed to help find solutions for accelerating and scaling-up energy access and energy productivity. To achieve this, the Forum served as a marketplace and focused in over 60 sessions on the key elements of sustainable energy and the need for action to achieve SGD 7.

The Forum also saw the launch of the third edition of the Global Tracking Framework, drawn up by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency. The report showcases the progresses made by each country on universal access to modern energy services, on doubling the share of renewable energy, and on doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 – the three SEforALL goals. The report highlights that even though action is taking place, the current pace is not fast enough to meet the 2030 targets.

An independent global campaign dedicated to ending energy poverty, the SHINE: Investing in Energy Access For All was also announced during the Forum. The campaign brings together partners from faith, development and philanthropic organisations and aims to end energy poverty by advocate enabling policies, unlocking finance and building human capacity. The Forum ended with the strong commitment to support faster progress towards closing the energy access gap.

For further outcomes and pictures of the Forum, please see the dedicated reporting page here.


Several reports document the strong current and future prospects of renewable energy investment 

REN21, the renewable energy policy network for the 21st century, launched its flagship report, the Renewables Global Futures Report. It analyses the views of 114 energy experts from every region of the world. Key findings include that 70% of the experts interviewed expect the cost of renewables to beat fossil fuels within 10 years, and consider a global transition to 100% renewable energy to be both feasible and realistic.

Additionally, IRENA has released its Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics Report 2017 for the 2007-2016 period. In 2016 renewables capacity increased by 8.7%, building on a continuous growth trend in the preceding years. Hydro accounts for the largest share of the global renewable generation capacity total with 1,122 GW, followed by wind and solar energy, with 467 GW and 296 GW respectively.

These growth trends are echoed in the findings of a third report, published by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which shows that renewable energy investment in 2016 totaled $241.6 billion (excluding large hydro) in 2016. These investments added 138.5 GW of new capacity from renewables, an increase of 9 % on the previous year, and equivalent to 55 % of all new power – the highest to-date. Read the full Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report here.


First GCF Board meeting of 2017 approves eight new projects

During the first Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board Meeting of 2017, which took place on the 6th of April in Songdo, South Korea, eight new projects valued at US$ 755 million were approved. As a result, the Fund´s portfolio now spans 43 projects with a total of US$ 2.2 billion in GCF funding, or US$ 7.3 billion including co-funding. The next GCF Board meeting is to be held on 4-6 July 2017 at GCF Headquarters in South Korea.

Analysing the Fund’s project selection, a coalition of NGOs raised the issue that climate change adaptation activities are often difficult to distinguish from “normal” international development cooperation measures, which are ineligible for GCF funding despite contributing to the Fund’s goals. They fear double standards and an arbitrariness emerging as a result, and offer possible definitions here.

For those interested in tapping into GCF financing, the Fund recently released its GCF101 Guide. The web-based guide is a work in progress and will be updated regularly as experience emerges on accessing GCF funding resources.


Roadmap for 2030 Agenda agreed on at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development

A new roadmap for regional cooperation in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals has been agreed on by Asia-Pacific countries at the recent Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, held on the 29-31st of March in Bangkok, Thailand. The roadmap identifies priority areas, implementation arrangements and a process for tracking progress on the SDGs, and seeks to foster regional cooperation on implementation. Amongst the thematic areas being focussed on are climate change, management of natural resources, connectivity and energy.

Further, the Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership has launched the SDG Data Portal which shows the current status and progress towards the 17 SDGs amongst the 58 members of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Impressions of the event, including regional leaders’ priorities for achieving the SDGs, are available via the UN ESCAP YouTube channel.




UN DESA launches 2017 Energy Grant for “Sustainable Energy for Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is now accepting applications for the 2017 UN DESA Grant on Energy for Sustainable Development. This year’s grant is runs under the title “Sustainable Energy for Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”, in-line with the theme of the forthcoming High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development taking place in New York in July. The winner will receive a grant of one million US dollars to fund future capacity development activities in energy for sustainable development. Individuals, institutions or partnerships are eligible to apply with their past and current achievements which serve to promote leadership and innovative practices in meeting the global energy challenge. Guidelines, information on the application process and further information can be found at www.poweringthefuture.un.org.

The deadline for submissions is the 15th of June 2017.


Sessions focused on partnering with the private sector scheduled at forthcoming European Development Days

The European Development Days (EDDs) will be held in Brussels on the 7-8th of June, and will have a series of special sessions focused on engagement with the private sector. These include the Opening Session of the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum and sessions on ‘Bridging the Digital Divide in Africa’ among others found. Details of the emerging programme and registration for the EDDs can be found here.


Better Business Report shows meeting the SDGs can offer new market opportunities

A new report by The Business and Sustainable Development Commission, chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has found that implementing the SDGs could generate business opportunities worth up to $12 trillion by 2030. If savings from reduced carbon emissions, water use and other resource consumption are included, this could rise to $17 trillion. The report predicts that 380 million jobs could be created through SDG implementation, with approximately 90% of these expected in developing countries, and up to 85 million thereof in Africa. The full report is available here.



GIS Hydro Resource Mapping in West Africa

The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) together with Pöyry Energy GmbH are implementing a hydropower resource mapping for all the river basins in the ECOWAS region by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The main deliverable of the project provides an overview which enables the assessment of the hydro resources and hydropower potential - as well as possible climate change impacts - for West Africa.

The project is promoted as part of the ECOWAS Small Scale Hydropower Program, which was adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers of Energy in 2012 and addresses the untapped potential of the small hydropower sector in West Africa. The results will be one of the first data sources on small hydro power potential in the ECOWAS region.

You can find the final technical Report on methodology and lessons learnt for ECOWAS countries here.


AfDB launches $12 bn electrification programme at Energy Week Conference

The Energy Week of the African Development Bank (AfDB) took place from the 27th-31st of March in Abidjan. It comprised a series of events and high-level discussions focusing on unlocking Africa’s huge energy potential.

Amongst the events at the conference was a high-level workshop on energy access in West Africa organised by ECOWAS, ECREEE and the EUEI PDF. It formed part of a wider capacity-building engagement on clean energy mini-grids in the ECOWAS region and provided relevant insights to the challenges facing countries in the region with regards to clean energy mini-grids. An “off-grid revolution” expert consultation workshop also took place and focused on knowledge sharing and supporting the development of a roadmap for enabling profound change and scale in the sector. The SE4ALL workshop, organised by the Africa Hub, sought to join the forces from SEforALL to SDG7, AREI and the New Deal on Energy for universal energy access in Africa. Linking to this the AfDB announced its new electrification programme at the conference and will invest USD 12bn over the next five years to support the New Deal.





The Vienna Energy Forum 2017 will take place from the 9th-12th of May. Registration for the main plenaries (11th and 12th of May) and the side events (9th and 10th of May) is open. Once again numerous high-level representatives are expected at the conference, with ministers, heads of international organisations and representatives of business, finance and initiatives all convening for the Forum. Successfully implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs, particularly SDG 7, are the foci of this year’s Forum.



In preparation for the forthcoming ECOSOC Forum on financing for development follow-up (FfD Forum), which will convene on 22-25 May 2017 in New York, ECOSOC President Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava appointed two co-facilitators for the preparation of the Forum’s draft conclusions and recommendations. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium, and Jerry Matthews Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa were appointed to the roles. Together they will consult with ECOSOC Member States to reach intergovernmental agreement on the draft. The FfD Forum is mandated by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to produce intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations, which feed into the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’s (HLPF) follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



At the end of March, Denmark´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a new national action plan according to which “all relevant aspects of new Danish legislation” will be assessed in relation to the SDGs. This is to be done involving a variety of stakeholders, including public authorities, business and civil society. Denmark is, furthermore, one of 44 countries presenting a Voluntary National Review (VNR) to this year's UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and has committed to report annually on its progress.



On the 4th of April, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller, presented Germany´s new strategy on development cooperation with Africa in a speech to the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa. During the speech Minister Müller pointed to the potential of solar power to trigger a development revolution, and emphasised the opportunities for public funding to leverage additional investment from the private sector. The first publication outlining the strategy, “Cornerstones for a Marshall Plan with Africa”, was launched in January.



The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Farnesina) held a conference on the 10th of April dedicated to the topic of ‘Migration and Development’. The second session of the event provided several examples of private sector engagement in key areas that work to combat the causes of migration, including energy.

In a similar vein the Vienna Energy Forum will host a side event on Clean Energy for Migrants and Vulnerable Groups, implemented jointly by UNIDFO and the EUEI PDF, picking up on the outcomes of the EUEI PDF’s Discussion Forum “Enlightening the Migration Debate”, held in Brussels in January.



Norway has recently released a new white paper on its development policy, outlining the increase in financial contributions in areas crucial for the achievement of the SGDs such as renewable energy, protection of religious minorities, and health. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, emphasised that Africa will continue to receive the largest share of Norwegian aid and that it will take a long-term approach to humanitarian needs.



At the end of March the UK Government published “Agenda 2030: Delivering the Global Goals”. The policy paper provides an overview and examples of how the UK is contributing to the delivery of each of the SDGs. The underlying aims of the SDGs have also been embedded in the UK´s Single Departmental Plans, emphasising the country’s commitment to deliver both at home and around the world on the 2030 Agenda.




  • Event: UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 on SDG solutions is now accepting applications. Here
  • Report: Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress; Power for All. Here
  • Webinar: The Next Steps in Scaling Finance for Energy Access: Syndicating Deals between Multiple Lenders; Clean Energy Solutions Centre. Here
  • Data visualisation: World’s Top 10 Emitters, and How They’ve Changed since Paris; WRI. Here
  • Recommendations: EU Action for Sustainability: 10 recommendations; CONCORD. Here
  • Data visualisation: 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals, World Bank. Here
  • Videos and event reports: 2017 Global Forum on Development; OECD. Here
  • Blog post: Aid rising in 2016: No room for complacency; OECD. Here
  • Opinion: Sustainable energy for all: glass half empty or half full? CDKN. Here
  • Briefing series: Technical notes on management and payment methods for mini-grids; ESCoBox and Practical Action. Here



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last update
28 April 2017

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