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In preparation for the International Conference on Renewable Energies in Bonn, June 2004, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the International Institute for Energy Conservation jointly launched a study to examine best practices in developing countries for the successful transition to a renewable energy future. The results are scheduled to be released in early spring 2004. This study will lay out a new way of thinking about renewable energy an


Many of the policies, programs and institutional development initiatives that have sought to promote the use of Renewable Energy (RE) systems have largely focused on RE systems alone rather than attempting to integrate RE into the existing energy frameworks. This “fossil today, renewable tomorrow” premise has resulted in many successful projects, but fewer successful, self-sustaining markets for RE in developed as well as developing countries. There is also evidence that conventional approaches to government or multilateral supported, large-scale shifts to singular technologies or energy sources, such as hydro and ethanol in Brazil, are vulnerable to conditions beyond their control. In other cases, some other integrated approaches, such as Germany’s solar access laws, have had measured success, but only for limited periods. There is clearly a need to look not only at diversified energy policies and solutions, but also to ensure that those solutions work with existing energy systems to ensure a sustainable transition to greater renewable energy use.

The Study:

The International Institute for Energy Conservation, with the generous support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, is initiating a study of international “Best Practices” (and worst practices) in the areas of policy, programs and institutional development as part of the North-South dialogue. The goal is to create a framework for a debate about the necessary and sufficient conditions for increasing the market share of renewable and efficiency (R&E) technologies.

The premise of this effort is that the RE community should look not only at the end goal of RE “output” but also at the creation of the proper enabling environment for the integration of RE systems into the existing systems. The goal of this approach is a more gradual, organic, market-driven transition to a more sustainable energy system that meets the needs of local communities, economic forces and government objectives.

The study will evaluate the best practices in the areas of policies, programs, institutional development in both developing and developed economies in order to ascertain whether there are lessons to be learned from both successes and failures. The study will attempt to look at a sample of best practices in a variety of countries, such as Brazil, India, the Philippines, South Africa and Thailand. It will evaluate individual policies, programs and institutions as well as instances where they were best integrated for a successful transition to greater RE use. It will also focus on several thematic tracks: policy frameworks, technical integration (e.g., hybrid systems), institutional development (including finance), and program designs. Finally there will be review of those nations where the integration of multiple approaches has resulted in the most sustainable market penetration of RE systems.

More information:

Nitin Pandit, Executive Director, International Institute for Energy Conservation: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marc Berthold, Program Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation North America: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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