SREP Pilot Country Meeting | May 28-30, 2013 | Bandos Island, Maldives

The fifth meeting of pilot countries participating in the Program for Scaling-up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) provided the opportunity for pilot and reserve countries to share updates on their SREP programming and implementation progress and challenges since the last meeting in October 2012. The meeting also featured practical sessions focused on problem-solving, including in the areas of monitoring and reporting on energy access and enabling environments for renewable energy (RE) investments, program planning, and project delivery, and new areas of learning such as how to engage with social enterprises to tackle RE challenges in rural and remote areas. In addition, the Government of the Maldives hosted a field visit to a solar power plant on Villingili Island.

Final Agenda (pdf)

List of Participants (pdf)

May 28, 2013 - Tuesday (Summary & Photos by IISD)

9:00 am – 9:30 am:  Opening Address by the Government of the Maldives and Introduction

The session was opened by Ahmed Shafeeu, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives, who expressed confidence in the meeting's role to generate greater exposure of the Maldives' energy sector through the opportunities provided in sharing lessons. Patricia Bliss-Guest, Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Administrative Unit Program Manager, applauded the leadership shown by the Maldives in raising awareness about the consequences of climate change and in addressing its mitigation and adaptation challenges.

9:30 am – 11:00 am:  Updates from the SREP Pilot and Reserve Countries

SREP countries shared updates on the preparation and implementation of their investment plans and projects, highlighting new developments, goals and factors contributing to or delaying project progress.  Individual country progress updates are linked below, or click here for a collated summary of updates from all countries.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm:  Ask the Expert: Exchanging Lessons on SREP Planning, Project Preparation, and Implementation

New SREP pilot countries and countries on the reserve list had the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of the first six SREP pilot countries with endorsed investment plans. This session included three 10-15 minute rounds in which countries had one-on-one discussions with their counterparts. New SREP pilots and reserve countries asked specific questions and learned from the experiences of their peers on topics such as preparing investment plans, engaging the private sector, and designing/implementing interventions for specific renewable energy technologies.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:  SREP Pipeline Monitoring and Project Delivery

Zhihong Zhang, Senior Program Coordinator, CIF Administrative Unit, presented on the monitoring and project delivery of the SREP "pipeline," outlining the "traffic light" system used for monitoring project approvals, and countries discussed possible reasons for, and actions to, address delays.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm:  Engaging the Private Sector through a Competitive Set Aside under the SREP

Zhihong Zhang, Senior Program Coordinator, CIF Administrative Unit, provided an overview of the new Competitive Set Aside under the SREP.

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm:  Briefing by the Government of the Maldives on the Field Visit to Villi-Male'

Representatives from the Maldives, Ministry of Environment and Energy, briefed delegates on the agenda for the field visit to Villi-Male' island, including a visit to a solar PV installation.

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm:  Criteria and Procedures for Selection of SREP Sub-Committee Seats

During the final session of the day, Patricia Bliss-Guest presented the proposed criteria and procedures for selecting the members of the SREP Sub-Committee.

8:00 pm:  Dinner Hosted by Hon. Abdul Matheen Mohamed, Minister of State for Environment and Energy, Republic of Maldives

May 29, 2013 - Wednesday (Summary & Photos by IISD)

9:00 am – 12:30 pm:  Assessing Enabling Environments for Clean Energy 

Wednesday morning, pilot and reserve country representatives met to consider how to improve their country's enabling environments for renewable energy investments. Claudio Alatorre, Senior Climate Change Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), presented on viable options for improvement. Gevorg Sargsyan, Program Coordinator, World Bank, introduced a proposal for tracking enabling environments in countries, with objective, comparable, actionable and context neutral indicators that cover renewable energy as well as energy efficiency and access. Participants were tasked with selecting the indicators and sub-indicators least and most desirable from proposed indicators that would best assess the enabling environments for investment in renewable energy technologies. Participants were then given the opportunity to report back on their findings. Their feedback will ultimately influence the design of the proposed enabling environment index.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:  SREP Country Actions to Enhance Enabling Environments

Country representatives gathered in roundtables to assess their respective country's enabling environment for renewable energy investments, including laws and regulations, policies, institutions, and markets and incentives. Participants were tasked with a "country diagnostic exercise," discussing the areas in which SREP resources can enable them to enhance weak enabling environments, as well as benefit from strong enabling environments. After a first round of in-country discussions, countries then shared these experiences among each other in a roundtable discussion.

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm:  SREP Monitoring and Reporting

Inka Schomer, CIF Administrative Unit, presented on progress, challenges and upcoming work to implement the SREP Results Framework. Afterwards, Mikul Bhatia, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, presented an overview of ways to define and measure access to energy, including using the new Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) global tracking framework and household survey. During a roundtable session, participants discussed ways of assessing the access impacts of generation and transmission projects working through a case study based on a fictional country. Bhatia suggested using one framework as well as the complementary approaches of quick estimation at project commencement, and actual measurement after implementation.

May 30, 2013 - Thursday (Summary & Photos by IISD)

On Thursday morning, participants attended a learning event organized jointly by SREP and Energy+. 

9:00 am – 10:30 am:  The Unique Challenges of Scaling Up Renewable Energy to Rural and Remote Communities

Representatives from renewable energy institutions in Kenya, Nepal and the Maldives shared their experiences generating renewable energy in remote regions, highlighting specific challenges and lessons learned in project implemention. Participants discussed their countries' best practices, challenges, and country-specific enabling environments. Florence Richard-Quintanilha, African Development Bank, moderated discussions on successful practices and unique challenges of developing functional energy markets and implementing renewable energy projects in the context of rural poverty.

  • Kenya - Presentation by Henry Gichungi, Kenya Power and Lighting
  • Maldives - Presentation by Ajwad Musthafa, Maldives Energy Authority
  • Nepal - Presentation by Surya Kumar Sapkota, Alternative Energy Promotion Center

10:30 am – 12:00 pm:  Social Enterprise and the Provision of Energy Services in Rural Areas: Scaling Good Models

Daniel Riley, Lead Renewable Energy Policy Specialist, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), moderated a panel discussion on the role of social enterprise in the provision of energy services in rural areas. Panelists Joseph Nganga, Renewable Energy Ventures, Kenya, Thomas Pullenkav, Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) Foundation, India, and James Wakaba, Global Village Energy Partnership International (GVEP), shared their experiences in financing, marketing, and transferring renewable energy solutions to rural and remote customers using a social enterprise model. Participants discussed and clarified their perceptions of social enterprises and shared ideas on how governments and social enterprises could support each other in different country contexts to address challenges in the rural sector, including through improving enabling conditions and developing markets.
 

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm:  Reflections and Wrap-up

1:00 pm – 5:45 pm:  Field Visit to Villi-Male' Organized by the Government of Maldives

In the afternoon, participants were taken to Villi-Male', an island located on the northern side of Male' Atoll, to visit one of six solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at the Muhyiddin School. Ibrahim Nashid, Renewable Energy Maldives (REM), presented on the "Six Island Solar PV" project, while Thanzeela Naeem, Maldives, presented on the environmental work done by a voluntary movement called Save the Beach.