The objective of this article is to provide an overview of data and information sources for renewable energy technology, financing and project development. In this way, this article attempts to facilitate the development of successful renewable energy projects.
Many promising renewable energy project ideas are not implemented due to a lack of knowledge or expertise on how to move them forward. Successful renewable energy projects are characterised by:
- robust technology data,
- strong project proposals,
- and the inclusion of financing instruments and information for investment analysis.
Different sources of information, such as internal -energypedia- information, or external sources, are listed below.
Internal Sources of Information
Data and information that can be obtained from the energypedia portal.
Renewable Energy Technologies
Extensive data and information on renewable energy technologies and their productive use can be obtained from:
- The technology specific portals: the Solar Portal, the Hydro Portal, the Bioenergy Portal, the Biogas Library and the Wind Portal, which offer detailed onformation on the different technologies by means of case studies, country studies, concepts and literarture.
- The Productive Use Portal, which offers information, concepts, examples and literarture on the basics of productive use of renewable energy technologies.
- The PoweringAg Technology Database, which offers an overview of energy technologies that are applied in agricultural value chains, with the aim to offer alternatives to fossil fuel technologies.
Renewable Energy Projects
Data and information on renewable energy projects can be obtained from:
- Case studies from the above named technology specific portals;
- Specific case studies on productive use e.g. renewable energy projects in the agriculture and food industry.
Financing of Renewable Energy Projects
Data and information on the financing of renewable energy projects can be obtained from:
- the Financing and Funding Portal, which offers an extensive overview of financial instruments, relevant policies, financial barriers, microfinance, and literature.
External Sources of Information
Data and information that can be obtained from external sources.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has recently launched the Project Navigator, which aims to increase the percentage of successful renewable energy project proposals worldwide. The IRENA Project Navigator is a comprehensive platform to facilitate the effective development of renewable energy projects by providing project developers with the knowledge, tools, case studies and best practices needed to support the successful completion of their projects.The IRENA Project Navigator is divided into three sections:
The “Learning Section” allows users to learn about:
- Project Development Guidelines, which provides users with information on planning and implementation of renewable energy projects by offering tools, templates, examples and more importantly a clear and well-structured process.
- Technical Concepts, which provides users information on specific renewable energy technologies, such as: Solar energy, Wind energy, Hydropower, Bioenergy, Ocean energy and Geothermal energy.
- Examples and case studies e.g. project profiles, references or academic studies on renewable energy projects
The “Start a project” section allows users
- to create their own project workspace
- track their of their development process
- Identify gaps in your project development
- Use the tools of the development process online
The “Financial Navigator” section also allows users to search for funding by renewable energy type and region, drawing from a database of funds available for project financing.
External Sources of Information for PV- Systems
An excellent source that offers an interactive way to learn about PV, from functional priciples to PV array set-up, can be from on PV Education. org. Information on the most pressing issues with regard to PV- systems can be obtained from the International Energy Agency's - Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. Data that allows estimating the energy yield of a PV-sytem can be obtained from the European Institute of Energy and Transport, which provides Photovoltaic Geographical Information Systems (PVGIS) with solar maps for the European and African continent. A good source for obtaining information on PV generation costs can be obtained from the Frauenhofer Institute and their study on Levelized Costs of Electricity: Renewable Energy technologies (2013).