African Renewable Energy Alliance
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African Renewable Energy Alliance
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The African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) is a multi-Wikipedia:stakeholder Wikipedia:network, which aim is to speed up electrification and fight Wikipedia:climate change as well as Wikipedia:poverty at the same time. In this Wikipedia:Alliance, utilities, Wikipedia:industry, policy-makers and the civil society will work together to boost the take-up of sustainable electrification and thermal power. Energy access is one of the main issues to tackle some of the main problems of developing countries and Sub-Saharan Africa specifically for the Alliance. Wikipedia:Access to affordable energy means building up industries and therefor industrialization, fighing serious Wikipedia:health issues, improving the situation and well-being for the people as well as the education-system. But the energy access situation especially in the least developed countries and Sub-Saharan Africa is still very low. Renewable energies could make a difference due to their characteristics of small scale and decentralized power generation, a high diversity of available technologies, huge energy potentials in Africa, low-carbon energy production, reducing environmental degradation, and scaling up economies.
Supportive frameworks are key for the establishment of a sustainable energy system, including long term issues like education as well as short term solutions in the form of policies and supportive mechanisms. That is the reason why the Alliance promotes mechanisms for such frameworks like best policies, technologies and financial mechanisms by connecting different stakeholders who have valuable experiences from different countries and institutions.
The initial funding for the work of the Alliance will be provided by the Wikipedia:World Future Council Wikipedia:Foundation. The foundation, based in Germany, works to voice the interests of future generations and currently puts the majority of its funds into fighting climate change.
 First Workshop and Inauguration
The forming of the Alliance was the result of a Wikipedia:workshop in Wikipedia:Addis Ababa, organized jointly by the World Future Council (WFC), the Wikipedia:Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and the Wikipedia:Heinrich Böll Foundation under the patronage of Dr. Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher, Director General of the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority and WFC Wikipedia:Councillor. Wikipedia:Energy Wikipedia:technology and Wikipedia:policy solutions for off-grid regions as well as sustainable cooking solutions and the need for a Rural Electrification Development Fund were discussed after briefings on the energy situation and energy policies in Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa.
 Joint Declaration and Common Statement
For the Wikipedia:inauguration of the Alliance the Wikipedia:participants drafted a common declaration which states: “Now is the time to set the course towards a massive uptake of Renewable Energy for all people in urban and rural Africa. If we fail to immediately take decisions on Renewable Energy production and distribution in grid connected areas as well as in off grid regions, we undermine the right of millions of African citizens to develop a better life in the future. Renewable Energy means both, the production of electricity as well as thermal applications.” To frame common goals and objectives, the Alliance agreed on ten terms of reference for its future work ranging from fostering energy education and environmental information for all levels of society to finding ways of creating investment security.
 Power Kick for Africa
From June 21 to 23, 2010 the World Future Council organised the second international strategy workshop on renewable energy policies labeled “Power Kick for Africa” in Accra, Ghana. The workshop gathered members of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) to elaborate policies, technologies and financial mechanisms for the deployment of renewable energies in Africa. Partners of the workshop were the Energy Commission of Ghana, Reeep, SolarWorld, the Alliance for Rural Electrification, Energiebau Sunergy Ghana and Alternative Energy Africa Magazine.
 Goal of the Workshop and Solar Public Viewing
- Designed for its participants to exchange information about and experiences on renewable energy policies and practices from different sectors and regions
- Give hands-on experience to sensitize and educate decision makers in politics, business, civil society and the media on the advantages of renewable energy
- Counter prejudices about renewable energies as "niche technologies"
- Motivate the Power Kick for Africa workshop participants to use this event as an entry point for the development and implementation of renewable energy policies
 Summary outcome
The workshop brought together some 30 representatives from parliament, energy ministries and commissions, electricity regulators, industry and civil society out of Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde and Europe. This wide range of participants provided an excellent networking opportunity. Throughout the workshop participants engaged in lively discussions sharing their experience and knowledge on renewable energy for sustainable African development. The positive feedback demonstrated the need for such carefully designed meetings and the World Future Council was requested to further coordinate the ongoing communication among AREA including regular live assembling. The following action points were agreed on:
- The participants were determined to expand their cooperation under the umbrella of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA). To strengthen this important network and coordinate its activities an AREA Steering Committee was called to life. Members will volunteer to take responsibility for the groups’ direction and action. This Steering Committee will ideally convene in autumn 2010 to start organising the next workshop planned for spring 2011.
- A Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff is supported by AREA where electricity grid conditions allow. Lessons learned from different African countries, e.g. South Africa or Kenya should be carefully considered when advocating for RE-FIT.
- The need for supportive frameworks to stimulate the production and provision of renewable energy for the rural communities was expressed during the workshop and solutions will be worked on especially for off-grid regions.
- The gender aspect of energy was emphasized by several speakers. The subject of sustainable solutions for cooking and heating is often neglected in discussion on renewable energy and urgently needs to be worked on. Best practices exist, but now it’s about developing and implementing supportive frameworks and regulations on national levels.
- Financing Renewable Energy in developing countries requires investment security. In order to ensure this the Alliance wants to explore an innovative international, national and local financing mechanism for Renewable Energy policies. An international Renewable Energy Policy Fund as proposed by the World Future Council was supported and will be further promoted.
 Solar Public Viewing
As part of Power Kick for Africa the World Future Council (WFC) enabled football enthusiasts in the non-electrified Ghanaian village of Oboadaka to watch Ghana's group matches of the 2010 Football World Cup live on a large screen. This was Africa’s first Solar Public Viewing. The workshop participants and media representatives travelled to Oboadaka to join the community watching the World Cup match Ghana vs. Germany. This Solar Public Viewing proved to be an excellent vehicle for spreading the word about renewable energy and its enormous benefits for off-grid regions among decision-makers, the media and the public. German, Ghanaian and international media reported comprehensively on the WFC-Power Kick for Africa.
 See Also
- ↑ THE ENERGY ACCESS SITUATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. A Review Focusing on the Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa, pulished by the Wikipedia:United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Wikipedia:World Health Organization (WHO) in November 2009
- ↑ Renewables 2004 - Conference Issue Paper. International Conference for Renewable Energies 1–4 June 2004, Bonn, Germany.
- ↑ New Alliance established in Addis Ababa. Website of the World Future Council. Viewed on August the 4th, 2010.
- ↑ Joint Declaration/Common Statement. Main Document of the AREA. Established in Wikipedia:October 10th, Addis Ababa -Ethiopia.
- ↑ Power Kick for Africa. Event description, documents and presentations of the participants on the WFC homepage. Reviewed on July 4th, 2010.