Project managers meet in Johannesburg

16-07-2012, Johannesburg, South Africa

REEEP held an international project implementers’ conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on 3rd and 4th July 2012. The two-day conference brought together more than 30 REEEP-supported project managers from South America, Africa and Asia and from countries as diverse as Brazil, Ghana, India, China and nations of the Pacific Islands.

Overview of meeting

Called to exchange information and experiences in project development, share learning and facilitate networking and mutual support, as well as discussing REEEP’s future direction, the conference included:

Project exhibitions

Some 26 projects being funded or co-funded by REEEP were exhibited in poster presentations in the conference venue, enabling participants to engage with project developers. Participants were then asked to report back on what they had learned that was relevant to their own project.

Learning from project experiences - panel sessions

  • Building Political Will
  • End-User Finance
  • Market Rules of the Game: Business Models to Upscale Your Project
  • Encouraging Stakeholder/Community Participation

Energy access workshop

A presentation by Jason Schaffler of the REEEP South Africa Secretariat, followed by participants’ responses to a challenge to list the top three actions that governments and business need to take to increase energy access.

REEEP future strategy

A presentation by Martin Hiller, Director General of REEEP, and discussion on participants' feedback

Monitoring & Evaluation

Collaborative exercise to prioritise participants‘ input to review of REEEP’s monitoring & evaluation systems

Future interactions between REEEP and project developers

A discussion on how REEEP can support project developers in such areas as networking, information sharing, peer support and knowledge management.

Good participant reaction

Participants welcomed the strong interactive format of the conference. As one participant put it: “It was great to see good products in so many different projects – from biomass to lighting and transport – and to see that we face a similar challenge: to scale up products and turn them into mass products that can be used in any country. We need to share not only challenges but also solutions that make products work on a larger scale.”

REEEP Director General Martin Hiller told the conference, “REEEP is now 10 years old, and in this time we have seen a dramatic change of the landscape, with investment in renewable energy reaching US$250 billion last year and marking something of a seismic shift towards clean energy. This is a relentless shift, and we want to speed it up. Many international organisations have emerged over these years to support renewable energy and energy efficiency, so REEEP needs to re-orientate itself and assess where and how it can make the best contribution.”

He explained that REEEP is entering a new phase in its development, with a clear focus on a number of new initiatives. These include:

  • Supporting the scaling up of projects and making “tipping point” interventions;
  • Identifying project “champions” and working closely with them as part of a strongly people-centred approach to project development and scaling up;
  • Building closer relationships with clean energy and energy efficiency investors and project developers; and
  • Expanding its web portal and providing increasingly valuable and accessible information through this service, which is already the largest freely-available source of information on renewable energy and energy efficiency policy.