- The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed an MoU with the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), to strengthen their existing cooperation on rural electrification and universal access to energy.
- The MoU was signed in the margins of the fifth International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) by IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera and ARE Chief Executive Officer David Lecoque.
- The two parties will work closely together on de-risking investments in decentralised renewable energy systems.
Off-grid renewable energy solutions provide an opportunity to achieve universal access to energy without undermining climate goals, making them critical to achieving a just energy transition. According to IRENA, decentralised renewables create employment opportunities in productive uses ranging from agri-food and healthcare to communications and commerce in local communities.
Steady cost reductions and technological innovation have strengthened the business case for off-grid renewables as a means to expand rural electricity access. However, accelerating the deployment of mini-grid and stand-alone solutions will depend also on stable policies and regulations, along with dedicated funds and de-risking instruments for renewables. Moving forward under the new agreement, IRENA and ARE will jointly work on de-risking investments in energy access and decentralised renewable energy and on activities aimed at increasing private sector participation.
The two parties will also exchange expertise on emerging delivery models for the deployment of decentralised renewable energy solutions and collaborate on capacity development in issues pertaining to skills development, improving resilience of decentralised renewable energy projects and renewable energy entrepreneurship support.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal