Page 6-7 - GRO_Dec2011_FINAL

Page 6-7 - GRO_Dec2011_FINAL

SEO Version

6
7
GLOBAL RENEWABLES ONLINE - DECEMBER 2011
REN21: ON EMERGING ECONOMIES - COVER STORY
A
s the world pro-
gresses towards a
more sustainable
energy future, businesses,
governments and indi-
viduals adopt practices to
move in parallel with the
shift.
The use of renewable energy has
increased dramatically over the last
decade. As adoption rises, international
energy experts have been working to
engage stakeholders who will have a
profound influence on the global use of
renewables. Organizations like the
Renewable Energy Policy Network for the
21st Century, in partnership with the
United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), bring together international
multi-stakeholder leaders to ensure the
rapid global transition to renewable
energy. According to UNEP, REN21’s “goal
is to bolster policy development for the
rapid expansion of renewable energies in
developing and industrialised econo-
mies.”
“The REN21 Secretariat is supported
by both The United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) and The Deutsche
Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusam-
menarbeit (GIZ) GmbH,” the UNEP
website states.
CREATING AWARENESS
REN21, created in 2005, “promotes
renewable energy to meet the needs of
both industrialised and developing
countries that are driven by climate
change, energy security, development
and poverty alleviation.”
REN21 promotes policy that will
increase the wise use of renewable energy
worldwide through encouraging action in
policy, advocacy, and exchange.
A key part of the REN21 mandate is to
encourage
political
support
for
improving regulatory frameworks, as
well as economic environments that will
ultimately lead to increased use of
renewables.
REN21
produces
the
Renewables Global Status Report on an
annual basis, which is regarded as “the
most frequently referenced source of
information on renewable energy policies
and market developments,” (http://
cleanenergybusinesscouncil.com/en/133/
knowledge-center/links/international-
organizations).
The most recent report stated that at
least 95 countries currently have some
type of policy to support renewable power
generation. According to the report, feed-
in tariffs remain the most common
policies employed by governments aimed
to encourage renewable energy use. The
report also highlights that in 2010,
investment
reached
$211
billion
worldwide
for
renewables,
which
represents approximately a third more
than was invested in 2009, and more than
five times the amount invested in 2004.
ON BEHALF OF REN21
Christine Lins, Executive Secretary for
REN21, spoke with GRO to enlighten
readers on the report’s key themes,
political challenges for renewables, and
the future of sustainability in emerging
nations.
Christine Lins was appointed Secre-
tary General of the European Renewable
Energy Council in April 2001, and in July
2011 was appointed to REN21’s secretariat.
Lins has more than a decade of experience
in renewables, including substantial
industry experience with international
renewable projects.
GRO: How has the demand for
renewables changed over the years,
as your experience has grown in
the industry?
Christine Lins: Renewables have been
steadily growing in the last few years,
especially since 2005. Take for instance in
2010, more than 211 billion US dollars
were invested in renewable energy. I
think the perception of renewable energy
is just beginning to change, however.
In people’s minds, renewables are still
a minor player in global industry, but you
can see from statistics, realistically
renewable energy is a major industry
player worldwide. Internationally, 20 per
cent of electricity comes from renewable
energy.
Just based on the growing use of
renewables, what we have ahead of us is a
total system change.
GRO: Why was REN21 created?
CL: REN21 was created to advance
policy for global renewable energy
expansion. The organization creates
policy guidance and provides a platform
for communication. We do not speculate
or do any forecasting. Instead, we are
sharing information that is the work of
30-50 researchers.
Our report, the annual Renewables
Global Status Report, provides the reader
an overview of renewables. The biggest
thing I’ve seen change is that the first
report, published just a few years ago,
was much smaller. Now it is a 100+ page
publication.
REN21: On Emerging Economies
Our Sustainable Future