Renewable energy

New and renewable sources of energy have received a great deal of attention since the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric power not only produce minimal carbon emissions once generating systems are in place, they also help reduce poverty through improved energy access in underserved areas. Energy from renewable sources currently accounts for five percent of global energy supply.

Though the use of renewables is increasing faster than any other resource stream, widespread adoption is constrained by a multitude of policy, regulatory and financial barriers. Support for research and development, market incentives, and energy prices that fully reflect environmental and social costs may all contribute to take-up. One such initiative is the Clean Development Mechanism established under the Kyoto Protocol, which provides financing for the diffusion of renewable energy technologies in developing countries.

DESA works with governments, at their request, on renewable energy policies and strategies at the national level. In China, assistance has been provided in the commercialization of renewable energy technologies; in small island developing States on the practical application of solar energy systems;.and, in Arab States for the strengthening of renewable-energy development capacities. With support from the Government of Iceland, DESA also organized an international seminar in 2006 to exchange experiences on the production and use of hydrogen from renewable energy sources.

 

Case studies


 

Partnerships


  • Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century
    Lead Partner:
    REN21 Secretariat - REN21 Secretariat  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    REN21 is a global policy network that provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy. Its goal is to bolster policy development for the rapid expansion of renewable energies in developing and industrialised economies. Open to a wide variety of dedicated stakeholders, REN21 connects governments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations, industry associations,...
  • Mediterranean Partnership for sustainable energy development (MEDITEP)
    Lead Partner:
    Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Energie (OME)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Regional  
    Summary:
    The Southern Mediterranean region is facing high demographic and socio-economic development growths. In this context, energy demand is expected to increase. Presently, 83% of TPES in the region is satisfied by hydrocarbons. According to the OME BAU scenario, this will continue (annual increase of about 4.3% during 2005-2020). Consequently, CO2 emissions are expected to rise by 240% over the same p...
  • Pacific Islands Energy for Sustainable Development [PIESD]
    Lead Partner:
    Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) - South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Sub-regional Pacific 
    Summary:
    The main objectives are: * Increased availability of adequate, affordable and environmentally sound energy for the sustainable development of all Pacific islanders. * Accelerate the transfer and adoption of clean and renewable energy technologies. * The partnership is to assist with the implementation of the Pacific Island Energy Policy (PIEP....
  • International Solar Energy Society
    Lead Partner:
    International Solar Energy Society  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    ISES has been serving the needs of the renewable energy community since its founding in 1954. A UN-accredited NGO present in more than 50 countries, the Society supports its members in the advancement of renewable energy technology, implementation and education all over the world. Its goals include: * Towards a Sustainable World:Encouraging the use of Renewable Energy everywhere, through appr...
  • International Renewable Energy Alliance
    Lead Partner:
    International Solar Energy Society  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The goal of IREA is to foster collaboration, removing market barriers, identifying and promoting successful implementation strategies, enhancing business conditions and developing markets. This is to be achieved by the provision of reliable and up to date facts and considerations for more informed decision making at all levels of national and international policy and to further the principles and...
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)
    Lead Partner:
    REEEP International Secretariat  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Accelerate a global market for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Systems (REES). Tremendous financial resources from the private and public sector will be needed to meet developing and transition countries' future energy demand in a sustainable way. Obstacles prohibiting this development include a lack of reliable policies and regulatory measures, and the perceived high risk and low retu...
  • Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP)
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Japan - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. - Government of United States of America - U.S. Enivronmental Protection Agency (USEPA) - CLASP Secretariat - UNDP-GEF - United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) - United Nations Foundation (UNF)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Energy efficiency standards and labels (S&L) for appliances, equipment and lighting are the most cost-effective means to help countries limit energy demand while stimulating economic growth. The overall result of S&L is to reduce required investments in power plants and reduce fuel consumption for their operation with powerful economic gains (e.g., freeing up capital for investments in non-energy...
  • Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (NRG4SD)
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Spain - Government of the Basque Country - Nrg4SD Secretariat  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Nrg4SD Network was formed by the "regional governments" -understood as the largest and first level of political subdivision within an individual state represented at the UN but which is above de municipal level- that attended the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, to share information and experience about sustainable development policy-making at the regional level of governance....
  • Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Italy - (Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea); - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The purpose of the Global Bioenergy Partnership is to provide a mechanism for Partners to organize, coordinate and implement targeted international research, development, demonstration and commercial activities related to production, delivery, conversion and use of biomass for energy, with a particular focus on developing countries. GBEP also provides a forum for implementing effective policy fram...
  • Fostering Regional Energy Cooperation in APEC: Energy for Sustainable Development.
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Australia - Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources - Government of Mexico - Secretaria de Energia  
    Geographical Scope:
    Regional  
    Summary:
    The United Nations Economic and Social Councils notes that: "Access to energy is crucial to economic and social development, and alleviation of poverty. Improving accessibility of energy implies finding ways and means by which energy services can be delivered reliably, affordably and in an environmentally sound and socially acceptable manner, particularly in meeting the energy requirements of dev...