Reflecting on the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

December 19, 2012

Renewable World has made great strides in 2012. Early on in the year the number of poor consumers that benefit from the renewable energy services promoted by Renewable World passed 5,000. With the opening of offices in Kathmandu and Managua in the last 12 months, and the major expansion of operations in East Africa, that total will soon surpass 10,000.

The Irish Wind Energy Association joined the ranks of the global renewable energy business associations that formally endorse and support our work. We now draw upon the backing of more than 50 global renewable energy companies, and have senior industry figures such as Christian Egal, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables, and Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA, as Board members or Ambassadors. Such support has enabled us to continue to deliver transformative change to the lives of thousands of the world’s poorest people living without modern energy.
2012 was the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)’, an initiative launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which seeks to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency as well as doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. We played an active role in supporting the SE4ALL campaign, which benefited from our unique relationship with the renewable energy industry. The high profile UN initiative augmented cross-sector awareness and cemented global action, most noticeably increasing global focus on energy access at major international events such as Rio+20. Another first in 2012 was the presentation given by Renewable World at one of the largest side events at Rio+20 ‘Fair Ideas.’ We drew on our work on the ground to provide analysis on innovative delivery models for the provision of affordable reliable renewable energy services.
We are very proud of the fact that whilst being a charity, Renewable World is run according to rigorous business principles. While our success is measured by the value we bring to society, the mechanisms we use are market based and seek to enhance and support progress towards credible market solutions. We seek to work with enterprising individuals and local structures, even in the poorest communities, to ensure business possibilities based on energy use are identified and capitalised on. In that regard we aim to stimulate sustainable functioning enterprises. This clarity of concept helped us, in part, to secure major new backing in 2012; we learnt that we were successful recipients of significant new support from Comic Relief. This new programme will bring renewable energy services to multiple communities on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, whilst improving the fishing value chain of the local fisher folk.
The professionalism of our highly qualified staff and committed industry supporters is reflected in the quality of the analysis and which we apply to our work.  Critical issues related to sustainability, ownership, management and governance structures and scalability are carefully assessed and addressed prior to implementation. As a result we are bringing more energy, delivered more effectively and sustainably to the poorest in the world.
In line with this trend in 2012 the Renewable World team produced its first major analytical publication ‘Making a unique and meaningful contribution to clean energy access for the poorest on the planet: market development and social benefit in areas of market failure‘. It represents another critical step in the advancement of our expertise, ability to implement complex and sophisticated activities and achieve a growing level of impact.
2013 looks to be even more promising and eventful than 2012. The year will begin with filming in Nepal for BBC Lifeline, a nine minute appeal to be broadcast on 17th February. Please support us by watching the broadcast, donating and encouraging your colleagues and friends to do the same. If your organisation would like to help publicise the appeal get in touch by email to request a corporate pack including email signatures and website banners.
We need support and expertise from many different sources to be able to achieve our goals. I encourage as many of you as possible to join us in this journey to bring affordable renewable energy to the poorest people on the planet.