Off-grid renewables key for universal energy access
Abu Dhabi, June 18, 2014
Off-grid renewable energy can expand clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity access in rural areas, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said at a conference in Manila recently.
The second International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (Iorec), organised by Irena, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), highlighted that small-scale or off-grid renewable energy-based solutions offer an important opportunity to achieving universal access to electricity, said a statement.
The conference focused on the current status of energy access in the Asia-Pacific region and gathers perspectives from different stakeholders working towards improving access to modern energy services, it said.
Adnan Z Amin, Irena’s director-general, said: “Access to clean and reliable electricity supply is vital for social and economic development, and off-grid renewables present a cost-effective, clean and reliable solution for electricity access in rural, peri-urban and island contexts.
“To fully utilise this off-grid opportunity, we need dedicated policies, enabling regulations, access to financing, tailor-made business models and the quick adoption of technologies. To achieve this, Irena is developing its collaboration with the Asian Development Bank.”
The conference delegates also discussed the striking synergies between rural electrification and other sectors critical to human development, said the statement.
The access to electricity can improve accessibility and reliability of water supply, facilitate extension of basic rural healthcare services and enable the outreach of telecommunication services in rural or island contexts, it said.
Irena and ADB also entered into a memorandum of understanding outlining comprehensive co-operation between the two institutions to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in the Asia and Pacific region.
Nessim Ahmad, officer-in-charge, Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB, said: "ADB and Irena share a common goal of promoting renewable energy. By combining our capacity and knowledge, our collective efforts have the potential to reach far more people, much more quickly."
More than 400 conference delegates, including representatives from public and private sector and civil society focused on solutions to overcome key barriers to the scale up of off-grid renewable energy deployment in the region by sharing best practices about design and implementation of enabling policies, innovative financing solutions and tailor-made renewable energy systems. - TradeArabia News Service