Brussels, 4 December 2015 - Today, the decentralised renewable energy industry associations Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) join forces to underline the crucial role renewable energies can play to help achieve the objectives of COP21 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We support Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular objective 7 to ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’. Therefore it is our will to achieve sustainable development and to enable global economic growth without exceeding the 2°C limit. We are convinced that there is a high urgency, in both developed and emerging nations, to integrate renewable energy technologies to a much higher level throughout the economy, particularly in the electricity generation sector and this as soon as possible.

In the developing world, where ARE and GOGLA concentrate their efforts to enable cost-effective and efficient access to clean electricity, and where some of the highest GDP and population growth rates in the world can be observed, renewable energy has tremendous potential. In Africa alone, the technical capacity for renewable electricity production ranks in the 1000s of GW (IRENA 2015).

The crucial challenge today is therefore to scale up and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy systems. To do so, energy access practitioners and investors, as represented by ARE and GOGLA, consistently highlight the importance of adequate policy and regulatory frameworks, as well as the availability of appropriate financing for their projects, particularly in the early project stages.

Therefore, ARE and GOGLA highly welcome efforts by the European Commission to facilitate clean rural electrification projects through its new facility, the “Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI)”. This financial instrument is a flexible tool aiming to support investments in immature markets providing access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity and energy services in developing countries and intends with Euro 75 Mio. in the starting phase to multiply investments in the near future.

The roles of ARE and GOGLA to support ElectriFI:

  • Having participated in the consultation process to set up this initiative, ARE and GOGLA are very much committed to work together along with the European Commission and all other partners participating in ElectriFI.
  • The rapid deployment of ElectriFI will bring ARE and GOGLA in the position to share best practices and lessons learnt in order to bring interested partners and stakeholders from the public and private sector as well as from civil society into the position to also take action on clean energy access.
  • To conclude, ARE and GOGLA urge all parties interested in clean renewable energy projects in developing countries to invest now in such partnerships, and to work towards ambitious, high-quality investment plans and project pipelines that effectively and concretely support energy access and sustainable development goals.