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Volume 93 Number 7 - Sunday, 1 May 2011
SUMMARY OF THE REGIONAL GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: ENERGY BETWEEN DANUBE AND CAUCASUS
28-29 APRIL 2011

The Regional Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) was held from Thursday, 28 to Friday, 29 April 2011 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna, Austria, addressing the theme “Energy between Danube and Caucasus - The Role of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as a key issue for economic development.” An estimated 200 participants from more than 25 countries representing government agencies, international institutions, business and industry, academia and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.

The overall objective of the regional meeting of GFSE was to enable a dialogue on identifying potentials and addressing barriers for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in these regions, examining policy and institutional frameworks as well as financial mechanisms, and exchanging experiences and best-practice. Special attention was given to regional approaches, cooperation initiatives and involvement of investors.

The meeting consisted of four plenary sessions, two panel sessions and four parallel sessions, and it was concluded on 29 April with an excursion to ENERGYbase, a near zero-energy house, and the Austrian Institute of Technology.

This report provides a brief history of the GFSE and related fora and summarizes the meeting sessions in chronological order, as well as the outcomes of the meeting.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GFSE AND RELATED FORA

Renewable energy is emerging as an essential element for addressing climate change, energy security, green growth and poverty reduction. Therefore, the international dialogue regarding renewables has increasingly focused on the need to scale-up sustainable and renewable energy both regionally and globally. Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, various UN and international organizations and agencies have been active on this issue, and numerous related international conferences and fora have convened. The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) was launched by Austria’s Foreign Minister in 1999 and provides a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue aimed at facilitating decision-making on energy policy issues in relevant fora. It also seeks to foster public-private partnerships.

GFSE-1: The first GFSE meeting convened from 11-13 December 2000, in Laxenburg, Austria. GFSE-1 addressed the theme “Rural Energy - Priorities for Action,” and contributed to preparations for the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-9). Participants considered the linkages between rural energy and sustainable development, enabling frameworks for attracting investment for rural energy, lessons learned, financing issues, the challenges and opportunities of regulatory reform, and innovation. IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse1

GFSE-2: The second GFSE meeting was held from 28-30 November 2001, in Laxenburg, Austria, and addressed the issue of “Energy Technologies – Cooperation for Rural Development.” Major themes included: stocktaking of the international energy discourse; facilitating the transfer of energy technologies suitable for rural development; case studies on successful modalities for transfer of energy technologies; and enabling policy environments and creating conditions for private sector involvement in the transfer of energy technologies for rural needs. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse2

GFSE-3: The third GFSE meeting convened from 27-29 November 2002, in Graz, Austria. It considered the relevant outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and sought to support the further development of initiatives to promote WSSD implementation, including the EU initiative on Energy for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development. GFSE-3 also covered topics such as: innovative financial instruments for private sector involvement in rural energy development; implementation of the energy outcomes of the WSSD; and the role of international organizations and funding agencies for rural energy development. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse3

GFSE-4: This meeting, entitled “Energy for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering the Role of Incentive Measures,” was held from 18-20 February 2004, in Vienna, Austria. GFSE-4 focused on renewable energy issues in order to provide input to the Bonn International Conference for Renewable Energies. GFSE-4 also brought together various energy-related partnerships announced at the WSSD in order to discuss their progress, and sought to contribute to ongoing work on the use of incentive measures for sustainable energy. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse4

GFSE-5: The fifth GFSE convened from 11-13 May, 2005, in Vienna, Austria, under the theme “Enhancing International Cooperation on Biomass,” putting special emphasis on strengthening institutional capacity to promote South-South cooperation. Participants also addressed a variety of relevant topics, including: potential and challenges for increasing biomass use; synergies and competition between food and biofuels; biofuels for sustainable transport; and biomass for electricity production and household heating. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse5/

GFSE-6: The sixth GFSE was held from 29 November - 1 December 2006, in Vienna, Austria. The meeting addressed the theme “Africa is Energizing Itself” and focused on sustainable energy in the African continent, with particular attention to sub-regional issues, biofuels, hydropower, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) opportunities in Africa, GFSE’s contribution to CSD-15, and financial engineering for energy in Africa. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/gfse6/

GFSE-7: The seventh GFSE was held from 21-23 November 2007, in Vienna, Austria. The meeting convened under the theme “Energy Efficiency for Developing Countries – Strong Policies and New Technologies,” and considered policies, case studies, and initiatives related to improving and promoting energy efficiency in developing countries, as well as opportunities, barriers, and the way forward. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/gfse7/

GREF 2008: Co-organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Global Renewable Energy Forum (GREF) was held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, from 18-21 May 2008, with the overall objective to create a suitable environment to promote dialogue on strengthening inter-regional bonds and to set up joint actions between countries and regions that aim to reduce poverty and enhance energy security through the use of renewable energy sources. GREF also aimed to promote the development of renewable energy sources and related infrastructure in Latin America and in the Caribbean. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/greb2008/

IRENA: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was officially established in Bonn on 26 January 2009. 125 delegations attended the Founding Conference and a total of 75 nations, developing and industrialized, signed IRENA’s Statute. The aim of the new Agency is to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide. IRENA will offer advice to its members on creating appropriate framework conditions, engage in capacity building, as well as foster the dissemination of and learning from best practice examples for technology transfer and financing of renewable energies.

GFSE-8: The eighth GFSE meeting (the Vienna Energy Conference) convened in Vienna, Austria, from 22-24 June, 2009. The conference served as an opportunity to, among others: shift the debate on energy and development beyond generalities and identify specific courses of action; initiate and advance regional and international co-operation; and present new international energy initiatives such as IRENA. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/energy/iec2009/

GREF 2009: This meeting convened from 7-9 October 2009, in León, Mexico, under the theme “Scaling up Renewable Energy.” The main objective of the Forum was to provide a platform for proactive dialogue to strengthen inter-regional cooperation and encourage innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at scaling-up renewable energy in Latin America and elsewhere. The event highlighted the need for stability and predictability in renewable energy policy to enhance prospects for private investment. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/energy/greb2009/

DIREC 2010: The Dehli International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) took place from 27-29 October 2010, in New Delhi, India, building on the initiatives taken in various International Renewable Energy Conferences held in Bonn (Renewables 2004), Beijing (BIREC 2005) and Washington (WIREC 2008). The conference had four major themes, technology and infrastructure, policy, finance and renewable, and access and Millennium Development Goals, and resulted in the DIREC Declaration and 30 new pledges by governments and civil society under the Delhi International Action Programme. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/energy/ direc2010

WFES-4: The Fourth World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 17-20 January 2011, featuring a high-level segment focused on policy and strategy, and three fora on business, technology and finance. The issues considered included, among others: international future energy policy; financing future energy; solar energy; green cities; sustainable buildings; wind energy; energy storage; hydrogen; carbon capture and storage; energy efficiency; and smart grids. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/energy/wfes/wfes2011/

IRENA PrepCom 5/IRENA-1: The fifth session of the Preparatory Commission for IRENA and the first session of the Assembly of IRENA were held from 3-5 April 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Preparatory Commission and Assembly focused on issues such as: appointment of the Director-General; election of the Council; Work Programme and Budget for 2011; rules of procedure; transitional arrangements; designation of the permanent seat of the Agency; host country agreements; staff and financial matters; and organization of the second session of the Assembly. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/irena/irenaa1

REPORT OF THE MEETING

WELCOME AND KEYNOTE ADDRESSES

On Thursday morning, Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, GFSE Convenor and Director General, Austrian Development Cooperation, welcomed participants to the regional meeting addressing “Energy between Danube and Caucasus,” stressing that energy policy transcends the boundaries of EU membership and has the potential of promoting regional cooperation.

Hans Jörg Schelling, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, emphasized that countries in the Danube and Caucasus regions are important economic partners of Austria. Noting that more than one quarter of Austria’s energy comes from renewable energy, he pointed to the know-how of Austrian companies in the field.

Recalling the recent nuclear fall-out at Fukushima and the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, Reinhard Mang, Secretary General, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, stressed that nuclear energy is not a sustainable option in combating climate change, calling for the use of renewable energies and resource saving technologies.

Johannes Kyrle, Secretary General, Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, underlined that energy cooperation should be part of international cooperation, noting that a shift to renewable energy is necessary to achieve sustainable development.

PLENARY SESSION: STATE OF PLAY OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE FOCUS REGIONS

Moderating this session on Thursday morning, Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer, Managing Director, Austrian Development Agency, noted the importance of access to reliable energy services. George Kavelashvilli, Deputy Minister of Energy, Georgia, described the energy sector in Georgia, highlighting the country’s large untapped hydro-power resources and liberal tax legislation. He said that new power transmission lines to Turkey are being constructed, and that there is a potential to expand the market to the EU and Iraq.

Ilarion Popa, Vice Minister of Economy, Moldova, underlined his country’s efforts to implement reform and harmonize legislation with the EU regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy, noting they can act as agents of change and contribute to economic prosperity.

Emphasizing that energy access is a pre-condition for overcoming poverty, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, briefed participants on the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), an initiative aiming to provide analysis of current and emerging energy issues and options. He said a major finding of the GEA is that there exists a combination of resources, technologies and policies that could provide pathways towards energy for sustainable development. Nakicenovic also noted that large improvements in energy efficiency are needed for energy transformation, highlighting the need for sustained energy investments to tap the energy efficiency saving potential. He added that the final GEA report is to be launched in June 2011 at the Vienna Energy Forum.

Herbert Lechner, Deputy Director, Austrian Energy Agency, presented the state of play regarding innovative energy technologies, and how they can help bridge the gap between current energy use and required reductions in emissions. He described the EU energy strategy, aiming to reduce emissions to 20 percent of recent levels requiring a full decarbonisation of the energy sector, and noted that renewable energy technologies are available. He presented Austrian Energy Partnerships as an opportunity for cooperation through: information collection and networking; capacity building and policy advice; and participation in demonstration projects.

In the ensuing discussion, a participant asked how one could deal with the historic building stock, especially public buildings. Lechner replied that many of the technologies for refurbishing buildings are available, but that there are institutional barriers and lack of financing that have to be overcome by building incentives to enhance implementation. Nakicenovic noted that fossil fuels are cheaper because many costs are externalized and that by breaking down learning curves many technologies can be made more cost-effective. He further stated that while many renewable energy sources are initially capital intensive, they help reduce costs in the long run.

PANEL I: INITIATIVES AT EU AND BI- AND MULTILATERAL LEVEL

Moderating this panel session on Thursday afternoon, Elfriede-Anna More, Director for International Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, asked panelists how policies can help overcome barriers and where regional cooperation can be advanced.  

Olivier Baudelet, European Commission, reported on the EU strategy for the Danube region, which was prepared at the request of the European Council and is likely to be approved at its session in June. He explained that the strategy covers eight EU member states and six non-member states, and consists of a communication strategy and an Action Plan encompassing 11 policy areas, including energy with a focus on energy infrastructure, energy markets, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Violeta Kogalniceanu, Energy Community Secretariat, explained how the Energy Community is a platform for energy integration, established by way of treaty with nine contracting parties and the European Commission, representing EU member states. She explained that it includes a binding commitment to energy efficiency, which is implemented through energy efficiency action plans and work programmes. Stressing the exemplary role the public sector has to play, she proposed an energy efficiency criterion for the tendering process and called for a holistic approach, including policy, financing and technology development.

Pradeep Monga, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), briefed participants on UNIDO’s technical cooperation programmes on mobilizing funding and strengthening knowledge networks, noting that energy must be addressed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He said regional partnerships are important to promote synergies and share good practices.

Nigel Jollands, European Bank for Regional Development, outlined examples of the Bank’s investments and technical assistance, including the Sustainable Energy Initiative, noting that the initiative has invested € 6.6 billion in energy efficiency and climate change mitigation projects. He said policy dialogue is critical to market transformation.

In the ensuing discussion, participants agreed on the importance of information sharing on success stories, the role of the Energy Community working on the regional regulatory and legal framework, and the need for innovative mechanisms for monetizing projects. In response to questions from participants, Baudelet noted that there are no additional funds allocated for the EU strategy for the Danube region, but that there are substantive funds available in the region. One delegate asked if the use of financial instruments was premature in some countries, with Jollands responding that, while this sometimes was the case, working through the private sector is important. Another delegate shared experiences on the need for involvement of the local private sector to foster implementation of regulations, while Monga said regional approaches are important, noting that UNIDO is willing to contribute resources where there is a demand.

PARALLEL SESSION 1: DEVELOPING POLICY AND INSTITUTIONS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Konstantin Dimitrov, Macedonian Center on Energy Efficiency, moderated this session on Thursday afternoon. Karolina Cegir, Energy Community Secretariat, explained that the Energy Community’s Renewable Energy Task Force has studied existing legislation and the gap that needs to be bridged, and said the Task Force is currently collecting data to calculate targets according to the EU methodology.

Sergio Tirado Herrero, Central European University, presented on energy efficiency as a tool to reduce energy poverty, which he defined as the inability to afford appropriate energy for the household.He proposed energy efficiency retrofits as a key tool to address both energy poverty and climate change, with co-benefits such as positive social welfare and economic development.

Country statements followed, with Leonid Vasilyevich Shenets, Belarus, reporting on national legislation on energy conservation and renewable energy, and state development programmes for renewable energy sources, including biomass. He explained how Belarus went from being the most energy intensive country in the former Soviet Union to consistently improving its energy efficiency.

Konstantin Dimitrov, Macedonia, stressed that energy efficiency is a necessity not only to fulfil international requirements, but also to build their national economy and reduce their dependency on energy imports. He recommended investment in energy efficiency, modernization of energy infrastructure, training and technology transfer and increased private sector participation.

Ruslan Surugiu, Moldova, described the legal and institutional framework related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Expressing concern over the lack of appropriate legal and institutional framework for investments and financial mechanisms for implementation of initiatives, he called for realistic targets, information sharing and coordination between different initiatives.

Corneliu Radulescu, Romania, reported on efforts to increase energy efficiency for industrial operators by management of the energy demand, including through co-financing investments in the field. He said Romania has great potential in wind and biomass energy and could meet its 2020 target.

PARALLEL SESSION 2: REGIONAL APPROACHES FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Elena Rybak, Director, European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, moderated this session on Thursday afternoon. Harald Egerer, Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, outlined the role of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Carpathian region and said the EU strategy for the Danube region is an important milestone. While stressing the large potential for biomass in the Carpathians, he said challenges include lack of regional policy and financial barriers.

Solomiya Omelyan, UNIDO,presented on the organization’s multi-dimensional energy services, including: technology demonstration; policy and regulatory advice; capacity building; global forum activities; and dissemination of information.

Robert Sarlamanov, Austrian Development Agency, briefed participants on experiences in the Balkan region, including addressing energy poverty, and noted the importance of structured policy and programmes, clear ownership and delegation of responsibilities, and a result-oriented framework. He also stressed that sustainability to a larger extent ought to be considered when dealing with biomass.

Addressing the promotion of sustainable energy activities in Central Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, emphasized the need to promote regional partnerships, change attitudes and behaviours, and turn policy into action. She noted that challenges facing the Danube region include insufficient use of best practices, lack of financial resources and conflicting interests.

Country statements followed the keynote presentations. Branko Glavonjic, University of Belgrade, stated that the WISDOM (Woodfuels Integrated Supply/Demand Overview Mapping)-project shows the significant role of woody biomass in Serbia’s energy balance. Mija Nenezic, Montenegro, outlined policies, projects and actions in Montenegro, highlighting the potential for regional cooperation and the need for stimulating the green energy sector. Tamaz Vashakidze, Georgia, addressed complex use of renewable energy sources in the country’s mountainous areas.

In the ensuing discussion, moderator Rybak asked participants to introduce priority actions to move energy efficiency and renewable energy forward. Sarlamanov suggested subsidizing energy efficiency schemes and promoting solar thermal energy and Szigeti Bonifert called for financial mechanisms and renewable energy policies and incentives, while Nenezic favored focusing on public-private partnerships (PPPs) and fiscal mechanisms and Egerer stressed the importance of political will.

PARALLEL SESSION 3: STREAMLINING PROJECT DEVELOPMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Günter Pauritsch, Austrian Energy Agency, moderated this session on Friday morning. The session began with a presentation by Georgiy Geletukha, Ukraine, on how to overcome barriers for successful realization of biomass in the Central and Eastern Europe. He explained that the Ukraine depends heavily on natural gas, which is subsidized for households, noting that this constitutes a barrier for use of renewable energy. He said the real cost of biomass is less than natural gas and that Ukraine’s green tariff provides benefits for some sources of renewable energy.

Tahir Kapetanovic, E-Control (Austrian energy regulator), gave a presentation on options for tackling infrastructure bottlenecks, explaining that different regions have different renewable energy potentials, and said that more efficient ways to distribute and store this energy have to be found. He recommended decentralized supply structures, along with investment in high voltage transmission grids running North South in Europe.

Mario Ortner, iC projects/RES group (engineering company), presented his firm’s experience with investments in Croatia, explaining that it was hard to get bankable contracts, highlighting the lack of transparent tendering procedures. He expressed concern over the duration, risk and cost of the project development phase, due to complex bureaucratic procedures.

As part of the country statements then presented, Peter Poptchev, Bulgaria, recommended full integration of South-Eastern European approaches with EU policies for energy and climate. He reported that Bulgaria had prepared its national energy efficiency action plan and that companies had to report on energy savings, but lamented lack of individual plans for energy efficiency, and insufficient commitment by state institutions. Lena Bratic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented recommendations from civil society for the path to EU accession regarding energy policy, pointing to the need for strategic planning, reliable statistics, capacity building and public awareness. Erdal Calikoglu, Turkey, reported on his country’s potential for hydro, wind and solar energy and measures to encourage production of cost-effective renewable energy through legislative reform, incentives, training and mandatory certification.

Moderator Pauritsch asked if the Ukraine had considered reducing subsidies for natural gas or if this would result in disproportionate negative effects. Geletukha responded that they were already in the process of raising prices since this is also an International Monetary Fund requirement. In response to questions, Kapetanovic reiterated that increased energy storage is important for integration of renewable energy and to bridge increased volatility, especially if more European countries decrease reliance on nuclear energy.

PARALLEL SESSION 4: ENABLING INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Moderating this session on Friday morning, Dejan Stojadinović, expert on renewable energy and energy efficiency, highlighted the need to address key aspects for creating a good investment climate for renewable energy and energy efficiency and share experiences on project financing.

Alla Lytvynenko, INOGATE (an international energy cooperation programme), outlined the activities of the EU-funded Support to Energy Market Integration and Sustainable Energy in the New Independent States (SEMISE) project, including: energy market convergence; investment facilitation; support for development of energy service companies (ESCOs); and building capacity of local financial institutions for investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. John O’Brien, UN Development Programme (UNDP), described key barriers, including: poorly designed and enforced legal and regulatory frameworks; lack of capacity to identify and implement energy efficiency measures; and difficulty in accessing financing. He highlighted the need for energy efficiency measures to be competitive, and said the grant model is not sustainable unless linked to long-term financing.

Dieter Meyer, Verbund Renewable Energy (Austrian electricity supplier) spoke on success factors for investing in renewable energy, highlighting: support mechanisms; non-financial aspects, including legal security and transparency; and grid access and energy balancing.

Noting that Ukraine has declared renewable energy as a national priority, Elena Rybak, Ukraine, said that while funds are available, challenges include a lack of: legal and regulatory framework; small-scale financing tools; and local competence for project implementation. Tamara Babayan, Armenia, described the Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund, which aims to create a financing mechanism and facilitate investment through, among others: policy development support; legal and regulatory improvements; and capacity building. Briefing on the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, Marija Sculac Domac, Croatia, said that positive public perception, strong local engagement and interest, and the presence of entrepreneurs are key to creating a good investment climate.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant noted that subsidizing coal would negatively affect competitiveness of respective countries, and called for global agreements on renewable energy. O’Brien concurred, stressing the need for political leadership to achieve a shift away from coal and oil. Responding to various questions on grants being unsustainable, he said small grants could leverage large government initiatives if integrated into long-term programmes. On PPPs, one participant asked panelists to share experiences on PPP models in renewable energy projects, with Rybak noting that with relevant legislation recently passed in Ukraine, they will know more about the key players in the concession market shortly.

PLENARY SESSION: FINANCING ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES EXPERIENCES AND GOOD PRACTICES

This session on Friday morning was moderated by Alexandra Amerstorfer, Kommunalkredit Public Consulting, who reminded participants of the opportunities of the carbon market and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), where selling certificates can generate additional income.

Peter Johansen, World Bank, described the Bank’s measures as a toolbox allowing it to provide: financing for policy development; programmatic loans and specific investment loans; grants from Bank-administered trust funds, like the Global Environment Facility; partial credit and risk guarantees; carbon financing; green investment schemes; and technical assistance. Stressing that technology alone will not create the necessary change, he recommended focusing efforts on delivery costs, making available financing accessible, and creating the necessary legal framework for investments.

Andrea Hagmann, Austrian Development Bank, reported how the bank has been set up as a privately owned company with an official mandate to promote the private sector in emerging markets, with a strong focus on the Danube and Caucasus regions and renewable energy. She described current projects and available financial instruments and services, including: long-term financing; loans; risk and equity participations; and advisory programmes.

Reinhard Hönig, Investkredit (a sub-section of the Austrian Bank “Volksbank AG”), described energy-related products of the European Investment Bank, noting it has the mandate to maximize innovation and create sustainable growth and jobs. He explained that the bulk of the lending goes to EU member states, followed by EU enlargement countries, and the sectors covered include environment and sustainable communities, climate action and energy.

Sebastian von Wolff, Green for Growth Fund (GGF), presented on the Fund’s activities in South East Europe and Turkey, emphasizing that the region has great potential for energy savings, and said that GGF can leverage donor funds to access private capital.

Responding to questions, Johansen stressed the advantages of civil society involvement and the importance of increasing institutional capacity, enforcement and incentive schemes to support energy efficiency measures. Von Wolff indicated that the timeline for GGF’s due diligence procedures is three to four weeks if data is available.

CONCLUDING PANEL

In the closing session on Friday, the moderators from the parallel sessions summarized their respective discussions. Konstantin Dimitrov, moderator of the session on developing policy and institution, presented conclusions relating to requirements for efficient policy frameworks, positive results in terms of implementation, possibilities for harmonization, and challenges and opportunities related to implementation of EU targets. Elena Rybak, moderator of the session on regional approaches, stressed the benefits stemming from regional initiatives and the need for awareness raising and policy incentives and market and fiscal mechanisms.Günter Pauritsch, moderator of the session on streamlining project development, reported on the discussions and concluded that there is a great potential for energy production from renewable energy sources and for increase of energy efficiency in all sectors, stressing the need for harmonization and regional and international cooperation to achieve the best solutions. The moderator of the session on enabling investments, Dejan Stojadinović, emphasized the need for cooperation and risk sharing among main stakeholders to create a good investment climate, noting that improved legal frameworks and more transparent procedures are necessary.

GFSE Convenor Freudenschuss-Reichl invited delegates to attend a presentation that afternoon on the “Building of Tomorrow,” a research and technology program of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, and to participate in a site visit to ENERGYbase, a near Zero Energy House, and the Austrian Institute of Technology, specializing in key infrastructure issues of the future. She thanked IISD RS for preparing the report of the meeting, saying it constitutes an important information-sharing tool. She also expressed her appreciation to the organizing team and all ministries for their efficient cooperation, and closed the meeting at 1:55 p.m.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

11th Session of IPCC Working Group III and IPCC 33: The meeting of WGIII is scheduled to take place immediately prior to the 33rd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 33). WGIII is due to sign off on the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) for IPCC 33 Plenary approval. dates: 5-8 May 2011 (WGIII), 10-13 May 2011 (IPCC 33) location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: IPCC Secretariat phone:+41-22-730-8208/54/84 fax:+41-22-730-8025/13 email: ipccsec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/scripts/_calendar_template.php?wg=8, http://www.ipcc.ch/scripts/_session_template.php?page=_33ipcc.htm

Second International CIS Sustainable Energy Forum: The Forum will consider energy sustainability and investing in renewable energy in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), primarily focusing on four areas: regulatory updates; economic investment analysis; technology showcase; and practical implementation. dates: 1-2 June 2011 location: Moscow, Russia; contact: Taissia Chinina phone: +44-20-7017-7444 fax: +44-20-7017-7447 email:taissia@adamsmithconferences.com www: http://www.adamsmithconferences.com/en/energy-efficiency-russia

UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies June 2011: The 34th sessions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Implementation and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice will take place in June 2011, along with meetings of the Ad Hoc Working Groups. dates: 6-17 June 2011 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://www.unfccc.int

Vienna Energy Conference 2011 (VEC 2011): The Conference, organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will facilitate an international dialogue on providing universal energy access and on the multiple co-benefits of increasing energy efficiency, under the banner “Energy for All: Time for Action.” dates: 21-23 June 2011 location: Vienna, Austria contact: Vanessa Massegg, UNIDO phone: +43-1-26026 3773 email: v.massegg@unido.org www: http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=1001185

Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference: This Conference will consider two main themes: “the sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems” and “greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development.” Under the second theme, discussions will focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, energy efficiency, sustainable consumption and production. dates: 21-23 September 2011 location: Astana, Kazakhstan contact: UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Information Service phone: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44 fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05 email: info.ece@unece.org www: http://www.unece.org/env/efe/Astana/welcome.html

Third Meeting of the Group of Experts on Global Energy Efficiency: The Group of Experts will continue work on the Global Strategy for Energy Efficiency Market Formation. dates: 17-18 October 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Viktor Badaker, Project Manager GEE21 email: viktor.badaker@unece.org www: http://www.unece.org/energy/welcome/Calendar_Meeting.html

Bonn 2011 Conference: The theme for the Conference is “The water, energy and food security nexus - water resources in the green economy.” It is organized under the auspices of Germany’s Federal Development Ministry and Federal Environment Ministry, to contribute to the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) scheduled for 2012. dates: 16-18 November 2011 location: Bonn (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany contact: Imke Thiem, Head of Secretariat phone: +49 (0)6196 79 -1547 email: bonn.conference2011@giz.de www: http://www.water-energy-food.org/en/home.html

UNFCCC COP 17 and COP/MOP 7: The 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol will take place in Durban, South Africa. dates: 28 November-9 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax:+49-228-815-1999 email: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://unfccc.int/

International Year for Sustainable Energy for All: In December 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2012 as the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All” (Resolution 65/151), aimed at creating “an enabling environment for the promotion and use of new and renewable energy technologies, including measures to improve access to such technologies.” date: 1 January 2012 location: worldwide www: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/65/436

Second IRENA Assembly: The second session of the IRENA Assembly is scheduled to take place in January 2012. dates: 14-15 January 2012 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: Adnan Amin, Executive Director phone: +971-2-4179001 email: secretariat@irena.org www: http://www.irena.org

World Future Energy Summit 2012: The fifth World Future Energy Summit is scheduled to take place in January 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. dates: 16-19 January 2012 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: Ara Fernezian, WFES Director phone: +971-2-4446113 fax: +971-2-4443768 email: ara.fernezian@reedexpo.ae www: http://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com

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The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Nicole Schabus and Cecilia Vaverka. The Editor is Leonie Gordon <leonie@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Austrian Energy Agency. Photos courtesy of Jana Madzigon / artista.at. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, United States of America.

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