Dear Friends of GFSE,

We are pleased to send you our spring edition of the GFSE newsletter, containing updates on recent activities of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy, important events and news from other stakeholders working towards a sustainable energy future for all.

Enjoy reading!

The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy

Vienna Energy Forum 2017 & GFSE Side Events

The exciting Vienna Energy Forum 2017 on “Sustainable Energy for the Implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement” will be taking place from 9 - 12 May 2017 in Vienna, Austria. The VEF 2017 will highlight the multiplier effects of integrated approaches for sustainable development at the national, regional and global levels. The Forum will also accentuate the potentials of the sustainable energy nexus - linking energy to water, food and health - as well as innovation as a global driver for accelerated sustainable growth. [more]

SE4ALL Forum: Going Further, Faster - Together

The 3rd Sustainable Energy for All Forum, titled “Going Further, Faster – Together”, took place in New York City between 3rd - 5th April 2017. The Forum offered a marketplace to help broker new partnerships and ideas, spur investment and drive action towards sustainable energy and realising Sustainable Development Goal 7. SEforAll Partners from across the globe shared their stories about how they are achieving results. The Forum examined recent data on progress including the launch of the 3rd edition of the Global Tracking Framework on the delivery of universal access to modern energy services, doubling the share of renewable energy and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. [more]

News from the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)

The Energy and Climate Change Branch of UNIDO coordinates the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres in cooperation with regional economic communities and organizations. The expanding south-south multi-stakeholder partnership comprises various Centres in Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and other regions. The network is supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), European Union (EU), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other partners.[more]

Renewables Global Futures Report: Great Debates Towards 100% Renewable Energy

The latest REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report: Great debates towards 100% renewable energy documents global views about the feasibility of achieving a 100% renewable energy future by mid-century. [more]

SolarNow Crowdfunds to Boost Solar Irrigation in Uganda

SolarNow launched a crowdfunding campaign on Lendahand in a bid to increase the availability of solar powered irrigation systems among smallholder farmers in Uganda. The company, supporting access to energy for low income people in sub-Saharan Africa, has partnered with FuturePump, a Kenyan producer of low-costs solar water pumps, to make the product available to farming communities in Uganda. The systems enable farmers to pump drinking water for their cows during the dry season, thereby saving costs for transporting water to their farms and stimulating milk production at times when the milk is scarce and price is high. They also enable harvest farmers to increase their agricultural output and lower the risk of losses by addressing irrigation woes during periods of drought. The product is increasingly affordable and popular among farmers, because SolarNow allows their clients to spread the cost over 24 months and to enjoy continued technical support. The company is looking to expand their market and needs to raise Euros 50,000 to purchase an additional container of water pumps. [more]

The 2017 World Happiness Report

The World Happiness Report is always published on the on World Happiness Day, on the March 20th. Since the last report, Norway has jumped from 4th place to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. The report this year emphasizes the importance of the social foundations of happiness. This can be seen by comparing the life experiences between the top and bottom ten countries in this year’s happiness rankings. There is a four-point happiness gap between the two groups of countries, of which three-quarters is explained by the six variables, half due to differences in having someone to count on, generosity, a sense of freedom, and freedom from corruption. The other half of the explained difference is attributed to GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy, both of which, as the report explains, also depend importantly on the social context. However, 80% of the variance of happiness across the world occurs within countries. In richer countries the within-country differences are not mainly explained by income inequality, but by differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: the biggest single source of misery is mental illness. Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery.[more]

Clean Technology Innovatory Receive Global Cleantech Innovation Award

Clean technology innovators and entrepreneurs from seven countries, namely India, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey, were honoured at the 2017 Cleantech Week in San Francisco in February. The event was part of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) for small- and medium-sized enterprises and top entrepreneurs from around the world to celebrate the progress, achievements and successes of clean technology innovation. This year’s Global Cleantech Innovation Award winner, Green India Building Systems and Services Private Limited (GIBSS) of India, has developed a geothermal heat exchange air-conditioning system that brings up to 60% energy savings and 100% water savings compared to conventional building cooling systems. Two runner-up teams were Eko-Geste of Morocco, with an integrated platform solution for household waste collection and recycling, and Baoberry of South Africa, with a nature-based, ecologically engineered water-purifying solution. Global category award winners were: iCEE from Malaysia and Atomberg Technologies of India in the energy efficiency category, Green Team from Pakistan in the waste-to-energy category, and Thevia from South Africa in the green building category.[more]

Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum): 15 – 16 May 2017

The theme of the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world", and the Member States have decided that the HLPF 2017 shall focus on six SDGs (1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14) in addition to SDG 17 that will be considered at each HLPF. In this context, the following topic may be considered for the STI Forum 2017: "Science, Technology and Innovation for a Changing World - Focus on SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, and 14". The UN Inter-Agency Task Team on STI for SDGs (IATT) was mandated to work with the 10 representatives from civil society, private sector and scientific community to prepare the STI Forum. H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, the President of ECOSOC, reappointed H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations and Dr. Vaughan Turekian, the Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State, to act as co-chairs for the 2017 STI forum. [more]

Food for Thought: Newly Released Report on the Energy Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa

Currently, the region has the lowest electricity generation capacity and experiences acute energy poverty. The energy systems of Sub-Saharan Africa are facing enormous challenges to provide the citizens reliable energy supply despite the growing population. The “Energy Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Guide for Advocates and Policy Makers” is a set of linked reports, published as part of Oxfam’s Research Backgrounder series. All reports explore the policy, economic, scientific, and technical opportunities for renewable energy technologies to address Africa’s electricity generation challenges, while combatting energy poverty. The first report looks at the potential for renewable energy technologies to generate electricity for sustainable and equitable development, while the second report looks at the challenge of addressing energy poverty on the region.[more]

Kofi Annan: Power to the People. Electrify Africa Now!

The African continent are battling with limited financial resources and increasing need for energy supply as a result of its rapid urbanization and population growth. The challenge for governments, their development partners and the private sector is how to electrify millions of African households, remote communities and small-scale entrepreneurs as quickly as possible. To meet that challenge, countries need to consider every available option, including off-grid household systems and mini-grids, as well as the expansion of national grids. Off-grid solar power and mini-grids, as standalone sources of energy generating power where it is needed, have vast potential to advance access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. In a new report titled "Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa", a report launched by the Africa Progress Panel, which is chaired by Kofi Annan, calls for a substantial increase in investment to develop solutions that can quickly solve Africa’s energy crisis. Additionally, it urges governments to put incentives in place to support the development of an enabling environment through which companies can enter energy generation, transmission and distribution markets climb the value chain and build the investment partnerships that can drive growth and create jobs. [more]
We hope you enjoyed reading our news updates and look forward to staying in touch with you within the GFSE community.
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