The implementers of the 30 on-going REEEP projects met in Vienna on 29-30 May 2013 for two days of interactive discussions alongside the Vienna Energy Forum. Participants had rave reviews for the opportunity to share inventive solutions and to take inspiration from other initiatives around the world.
Three key topics
The invitation-only gathering had a moderated and facilitated programme aimed to synthesising learning from three key topics:
- Energy entrepreneurship - scaling a clean energy business
- Water/energy/food nexus
- How data can be used more effectively to support the development of clean energy
Implementers assembled in these groups at intervals throughout the first day and the following morning of the Project Implementers Meeting, leading to group presentations to members of REEEP's Governing Board, who joined the meeting just before lunchtime on the second day.
The energy entrepreneurship group discussions centered on making clean energy products accessible to consumers at the bottom of the pyramid. Here, schemes such as pay-as-you-go enable those without large savings to pay off products in small increments.
The data group was unanimous in its conviction that availability of reliable data is essential for making any solid business or policy decision. This group made many innovative suggestions for possible future REEEP interventions establishing norms for the usage of energy and other publicc data.
The energy-food-water nexus group did a perceptive analysis of how the three sectors intersect, and mapped out the key interactions, including agricultural waste as a key input for energy production. Here, the group found that REEEP-funded projects in the ninth call covered virtually all key aspects of the equation.
All projects had the chance to showcase their work through posters/videos/presentations. All other participants attended these 'presentations’ in an ad hoc style, reading about other projects and asking questions about the ones that interested them. This encouraged a maximum of cross-fertilisation. These posters were also displayed at the REEEP-hosted VEF reception on 29 May.
Peer Learning Clinic
Four parallel sessions were held to assist a volunteer 'patient' (one of the other project implementers) who explained a current issue they have with their project to the other participants. A facilitator led the discussion for each, and eight other implementers spent a half hour as the 'doctors', questioning and suggesting advice on the issue. This was one of the sessions with the deepest discussions. "This session really gave me some interesting new ideas on how to motivate our distributors to explain the product and the recharging process to the end customers, " said Tori Arch of Angaza Design. "This meeting has been really valuable."
Risk identification and management
Nagaraja Rao of CTI PFAN gave a presentation on risk identification and management in clean energy projects, helping implementers become better attuned to how private investors think, and how to position initiatives to attract private funding.