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Development Account Projects

Strengthening regional and national processes for formulating and implementing sustainable energy strategies that contribute the most to greenhouse gas emission reduction

Background:

The last decade saw countries that have been successful in implementing sustainable energy projects. The projects involved pilot commercialization and promotion of investment for renewable energy (RE) and energy efficient (EE) technologies. Developing countries were provided support by bilateral and multi-lateral donor programs, particularly by UN agencies. Increasingly, private sector financing is providing investments, particularly in those countries showing both large market potential and favorable policy environment.

The bigger developing countries such as China, Brazil and India were the first ones to attract private investments in RE and EE projects, but several middle-size developing countries are also getting private sector interest, including participation in private-public partnerships. These developments has been brought about by many converging favorable factors such as increases in oil prices, greater awareness of the successes of these sustainable energy technologies and, initiatives in joint public-private financing through innovative projects supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and carbon financing such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

These countries have started adopting national policy frameworks and developing strategies, which aim to further increase the number of techno-economically viable RE and EE projects in order to reduce GHG emissions from the energy sector and help mitigate climate change. The strategies also aim to contribute to other objectives such as energy security, energy access and reduction of import bills. The strategies are usually multi-year plans consisting of series of projects and activities that are now evolving into “commercialization roadmaps”. But even if the process is still evolving, lessons are now being generated from these exercises. Those lessons need to be documented and the knowledge transferred to other countries interested in strengthening or developing their own capacities. UNEP has been in the forefront of these initiatives.

Objective:

The objective of this UNDA project is to strengthen national capacities to formulate low-carbon energy policies, strategies and projects.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Options for low-carbon energy policies and strategies involving renewable energy (RE) and energy efficient (EE) technologies are identified for participating countries/ regions
  • Low carbon energy strategies and projects are formulated by the participating countries/ regions and submitted to funding agencies

Implementation status:

The project is in its first months of implementation, therefore no impact can be quantified yet. In light of latest changes/re-orientation in GEF strategies, a re-assessment and refocusing of the project has been carried out. A new list of specific sustainable energy strategies to be covered by the present project was therefore identified, namely: a) Low carbon energy strategies for communities and islands; b) Energy efficient buildings (focus on low energy tropical architecture); c) Efficient mass transport vehicles; d) Scaling-up stove markets.