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Climate Change Policy & Practice
High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy

8-9 July 2011 | Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Highlights for Friday, 8 July 2011
IRENAThe IRENA High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy opened on Friday, 8 July 2011. Participants discussed opportunities and challenges for renewable energy for Africa, strategic partnerships, and best practices and challenges in promoting renewable energy investment.

During the opening ceremony, Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA, highlighted that what Africa needs most is enabling policy frameworks on renewable energy that will attract private investment. Sultan Al Jaber (UAE), President of the 1st Session of the Assembly of IRENA, emphasized the interlinkages between energy, global security, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction.

Habib Ouane, Vice-Chair of the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) and Minister of Energy and Water, Mali, highlighted Africa’s underinvestment in energy infrastructure. He identified renewable energy as key for ensuring Africa’s energy security. Farooq Abudullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, India, called on African countries to take advantage of specific programs offered in India geared towards study and training in renewable energy technologies. Rajendra Pachauri highlighted off-grid decentralized energy infrastructure investments as a potential win-win approach for accelerating energy access while contributing to climate change mitigation. Kandeh Yumkella, Chair of UN-Energy, and Director-General, UNIDO, said the key question is how Africa can ride the “green wave” and develop its economies.
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The dais during the opening session.
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA
Katie Fielder, Dubai One Television
Sultan Al Jaber, President of the First Session of the Assembly of IRENA
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Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New & Renewable Energy, India
Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General, UN Industrial Development Organisation
Habib Ouane, Vice-Chair of the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa, and Minister of Energy and Water, Mali
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Participants during the opening session.

Opportunities and Challenges in Renewable Energy for Africa: The Case for Action
During the session on opportunities and challenges in renewable energy for Africa, Dolf Gielen, Director, Innovation and Technology Center, IRENA, stressed that decisions to mainstream renewables must be based on longer-term planning. Habib Ouane, stressed that the transition to a clean energy future for Africa requires enhanced collaboration at the subregional and regional level. Atef Mohamed Ibrahim Marzouk, African Union Commission, highlighted a number of regional renewable energy initiatives. Odala Matupa, Southern African Development Commission (SADC), presented on the institutions and instruments dealing with energy issues in the region. Mahama Kappiah, Director, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), said the objective of his organization is to create favorable conditions and enabling environments for renewable energies and energy efficiency markets in the ECOWAS region. Youba Sokona, UN Economic Commission for Africa, said the key question is to determine the relationship between energy access and poverty alleviation and how this translates into the African context. Meseret Teklemariam, UNEP, highlighted a UNEP-GEF partnership, under the green economy initiative, to promote geothermal energy in Eastern Africa.
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The dais during the session.
Dolf Gielen, Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre
Dolf Gielen’s presentation on African Energy Trends and Strategies
Session Chair Bruno Itoua, Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Republic of Congo
Atef Marzouk, African Union
Atef Marzouk’s presentation
Odala Matupa, Southern African Development Community
Youba Sokona, Economic Commission for Africa, and Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III
Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun, UNEP
Mahama Kappiah, Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Strategic Partnerships for Renewable Energy in Africa
Session Chair Mohamed Maalim Mohamud, Assistant Minister for Energy, Kenya, called for policy dialogues bringing together all stakeholders to help accelerate the use of renewables on the ground. Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chair, called on Africa, through South-South cooperation, to come up with a strategic framework for renewable energy.

Li Junfeng, Energy Research Institute, China, highlighted China’s achievements in creating an enabling environment for commercialization of renewable energy technologies. Fred Moavenzaden summarized the role of the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology as human capacity development, research and development, and hands-on involvement to build linkages with relevant knowledge institutions around the world.

Zitouni Ould-Dada, Department of Energy & Climate Change, UK, informed participants that the Capital Markets Climate Initiative seeks to bridge the gap in private finance flows to the renewable energy sector.
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The dais during the session.
Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Session Chair Mohamed Maalim Mohamud, Deputy Minister of Energy, Kenya
Li Junfeng, Energy Research Institute, China
Zitouni Ould-Dada, Department of Energy & Climate Change, UK
Participants during the discussion.

Best Practices and Challenges in Promoting Renewable Energy Investment
Session Chair Louis Seck, President Designate of IRENA’s 2nd Assembly, said that lessons also need to be learnt from unsuccessful renewable energy projects. Stephen Karekezi, African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN) spoke on bagasse cogeneration, underscoring the need to replicate successes through different agricultural sectors. Sergio Alcocer, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Technology, Mexico, noted the importance of government incentives to promote R&D, private sector financing of public works, and net-metering for residential areas.

Kirsty Hamilton, Chatham House, called on governments to engage financiers early on in the policy design phase to help them understand which issues need to be tackled at early stages of renewable energy development. Carlo Van Wageningen, Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd in Northern Kenya, highlighted challenges faced by private sector investors in the renewables sector.

Christine Eibs Singer, founder, E+CO, said we do not need energy R&D to service the poor today, what is needed is innovation on how the poor can pay. Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council, noted that traditional boundaries between the transport, heating and cooling, and power generation sectors are being redrawn and, in future, these sectors will need to be treated more holistically.
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The dais during the session.
Kirsty Hamilton, Chatham House
Kirsty Hamilton’s presentation
Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Gambia
Session Chair Louis Seck, President Designate of IRENA’s 2nd Assembly
Sergio Alcocer’s presentation
Stefen Karekezi, AFREPREN
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Sergio Alcocer’s presentation.
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Sergio Alcocer, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Technology, Mexico
Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council
Carlo Van Wageningen, Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd in Northern Kenya
Christine Eibs Singer, E+Co

Around the Forum
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L-R: Omar Shehadeh, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE, and Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA
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Participants registering for the Forum.
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L-R: Ogunlade Davidson, Minister of Energy and Water Resources; Youba Sokona, Economic Commission for Africa, and Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III; Sekou Touré, Global Environment Facility; and Bruno Itoua, Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Republic of Congo
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L-R: Christine Eibs Singer, E+Co, and Youba Sokona, Economic Commission for Africa, and Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, sharing a laugh.
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L-R: Mark Halle, IISD, and Karsten Sach, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
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Participants during a coffee break.

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The delegation of Djibouti
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L-R: A. S. Sambo, Energy Commission of Nigeria, and Hussein Elhag, African Energy Commission
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
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Related Links
IRENA resources
*Forum website
*History of IRENA
*2011 IRENA work programme

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