The Dutch government has allocated a budget of €500 million for promoting the use of renewable energy in developing countries in the period 2008-2014. The programme is implemented through over 30 partners including World Bank, GIZ, HIVOS/SNV, and a wide range of innovative private sector partners.
Renewable energy technologies have a great potential to provide access to modern energy sources in countries where the majority of the population is not connected. Renewable energy technologies can be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth. The introduction of solar, wind and geothermal energy, hydropower and biomass is a promising way to power development and increase energy security.
Pillars of the PREP
The objective of the Dutch government’s Promoting Renewable Energy Programme (PREP) is to encourage the use of renewable energies in developing countries. The programme has four pillars:
1. Direct investments in access to renewable energy in priority regions in Sub Saharan Africa and Indonesia
2. Influencing the policies of partners who are responsible for investments in the field of renewable energy
3. Ensuring sustainability of the production of biomass that is used for energy consumption purposes
4. Building knowledge and capacity in recipient countries
The ultimate goal is to support developing countries to draw up and implement effective renewable energy policies.
Partners of PREP
The Dutch government has opted to implement the Promoting Renewable Energy Programme through existing, proven channels. The bulk of the funds is channelled through bilateral projects and programmes executed by multilateral agencies. PREP also works with the private sector.
The bilateral projects, such as in Rwanda, Mozambique and Indonesia are mostly implemented through the embassies, partly through delegated cooperation with Belgium, Sweden, and the World Bank.
PREP finances trust fund programmes with the World Bank group. Examples are the ESMAP, AFREA and ASTAE programs within the World Bank and a renewable energy component within the Netherlands-IFC Partnership Programme (NIPP-RE).
In the context of the Climate Investment Funds, managed by the World Bank together with the regional multilateral development banks (IDB, ADB, AfDB, EBRD), the Netherlands contributed to the launch of the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP). This programme means to transform renewable energy sectors in low-income countries.
PPPs have been set up with Philips Lighting and the energy company Nuon, both in the field of solar energy.
The DaeyOuwens Fund was set up together with Agency NL to support small scale and innovative private sector projects.
Two examples of groundbreaking programmes are the Energising Development (EnDev) programme and the Africa biogas partnership programme. EnDev is implemented through a delegated cooperation with the German government and implemented in 18 countries. It focuses on market development for decentralized technologies such as cook stoves, micro hydro, and small scale solar solutions. The biogas programme aims to bring the successful work of SNV and HIVOS on domestic biogas in Asia to six African countries to provide households with a clean cooking fuel, improved sanitation, and an excellent organic fertilizer.
The bilateral work of PREP focuses on Indonesia, Mozambique, and the Great Lakes Region with projects in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other African countries where the Dutch PREP funds are making a substantial contribution through the different partner programmes are Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali and Tanzania.
Where are we now?
About halfway through the implementation of the programme, PREP is demonstrating promising results.
• The output target to reach 10 million people with access to energy by 2015 was already surpassed in 2011. In a number of African countries, the biogas programme is reaching unprecedented numbers of installations.
• The success of programmes like EnDev, SREP, and AFREA has gained international recognition and increasing financial support from other donor countries.
• PREP support to Indonesia has contributed significantly to the development of a US$ 2.4 billion investment portfolio in geothermal power development, while decentralised options like biogas and micro hydro are gaining speed as well.
• In Rwanda, PREP supports the government to develop and implement the successful energy access rollout programme that scales up generation of and connections to grid connected renewable energy.
The main challenge for PREP in the coming few years is to realize maximum development results from its projects and demonstrate the contribution to the energy transitions in partner countries.
In the field of off-grid solutions in particular, the focus will be on safeguarding the sustainability of developed markets and institutional solutions. At the same time it is important to facilitate follow-up investments by national governments, private investors, development banks, and other development partners.
The International Energy Agency estimates that the goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030 requires additional annual investments of US$ 34 billion per year. While the progress of PREP is promising indeed, by 2015 the programme will show to what extent it has contributed to mobilising such additional investment flows.
PREP Highlight: Domestic biogas
PREP Highlight: Rwanda country program
PREP Highlight: Climate investment funds / Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP)