National and local focus

 

National focus

Renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) development requires addressing a series of governance challenges. Therefore, policy choices need to be political in nature and engage multiple stakeholders, sectors and administrative levels in a public policy process. Convinced of the need for coordinated, country-led (rather than donor-driven) processes , IDE-E establishes partnerships with national governments and their partners (universities, NGOs and international cooperation agencies) to strengthen the capacity of policy decision-makers to create an enabling environment for sustainable RE and EE development. Implementation efforts at any administrative level need to be supported by central authorities, through: the establishment of an enabling legal-regulatory framework, including the establishment of (regulatory, financial or fiscal) incentives; realistic and binding (energy and emissions) target setting; allocation of financial resources; institutional, technical and political support; and public awareness rising.

 

 

Local Focus

The importance of local actors. Policy instruments to encourage RE and EE investment can be powerful drivers for the promotion of clean technology, opening a wide range of opportunities for RE and EE development at the local level. Also, in recent years a range of technological solutions have been offered to local communities for decentralized power generation and EE management. The challenge, however, lies in providing conditions for the optimal use of such policies and technologies at the implementation level. This is where the role of local authorities has proven to be crucial: in strengthening local actors’ capacity to address technological challenges, to manage financial resources and to ensure that RE/EE projects achieve the expected socio-economic impact on local communities, while also being economically viable. In the past, however, initiatives have suffered from insufficient planning, insufficient clarity regarding different stakeholders’ roles, weak levels of consumer awareness, and insufficient consideration of the viability of installed technologies (e.g. purchasing power of end consumers, protection of material from theft, procurement of spare parts, maintenance, among others).

 

Depending on local conditions and opportunities, local authorities may play different roles to directly or indirectly support RE and EE development:


(i) by co-investing in projects with a clear public interest, demonstration effect and long-term sustainable benefits for the population and local economy (e.g., energy efficient public lighting);


(ii) by providing investment incentives and an enabling environment for RE and clean technology investors (e.g., budgetary allocations, tax rebates, priority treatment in administrative procedures, such as reduced administrative barriers to obtain construction permits for RE installations; public guarantees, to name a few); and


(iii) by engaging with other local, national and international stakeholders in a public policy process to exploit the potential of RE development and EE strategies to yield measurable benefits for local economies and populations, including marginalised communities and households.