EEG event SE4All Forum 2018

EEG at SE4All Forum 2018

Experts, donors and policymakers tackle the challenge of energy systems planning at EEG roundtable

In May, EEG joined leaders from government, international organisations, the private sector and civil society at the 2018 Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Forum. Held in Lisbon, Portugal on 2-3 May, the theme of this years’ forum was Leaving No One Behind. More than 800 attendees explored innovative solutions to provide clean and affordable energy to marginalised populations.

During the week, EEG worked closely with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to advance the Roundtable Process on Energy Systems Planning – an initiative that aims to facilitate a more coordinated, transparent and locally-owned and managed approach to energy systems planning, leading ultimately to improved energy services for families and businesses in low-income countries.

At the SE4All Forum, EEG and DFID co-hosted two events focused on strategic energy planning.

First, within the SE4All forum itself, EEG hosted a partner working session on the challenges developing countries face in planning their energy systems. This session began with presentations from Eng. Robert Nyamvumba, Rwanda’s Energy Division Manager and Eng. Faruk Yusuf Yabo, Nigeria’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy & Rural Power Access on their countries’ approach and experience with energy planning.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience. The panel was chaired by Dr Will Blyth, UK Department for International Development, who was joined by four technical experts: Prof. Vijay Modi, Columbia University; Dr. Deb Chattopadhyay, World Bank; Ms. Elizabeth Press, International Renewable Energy Agency, and Dr. Daniel Schroth, African Development Bank. The discussion focused on innovations in energy planning, and problems that can occur in the absence of good planning, the importance of building capacity around energy planning, and improving the way decision-support tools are created, accessed and maintained.

The results of the partner working session fed into a second event - a roundtable discussion on Energy Planning held on the Friday after the SE4All forum. This second roundtable discussion opened up to a broader set of participants than were present at the first one, held at the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program’s (ESMAP) Knowledge Exchange Forum, in London in November 2017. This time around, development partners and multilateral banks were joined by prominent technical experts in energy systems planning.

Together, the 35 attendees identified concrete next steps for the Roundtable Process. Most notably, donors agreed to work towards actioning the five principles for supporting energy systems planning that they had agreed on in November:

  1. Improved donor coordination and coherence across sectors.  

  2. Ensure country ownership and high-level political buy-in of sector strategic objectives and plans.

  3. Scale up support for capacity building to foster domestic leadership in strategic planning.

  4. Ensure planning tools and models are fit-for-purpose, have a strong technical and economic foundation, and promote transparency in their inputs and assumptions.

  5. Ensure planning tools are transparent and accessible to stakeholders.

EEG will also facilitate the production of a discussion paper on ‘Data and tools for energy planning’, which will examine how to improve the interoperability of data sets and analytical tools by developing standards and protocols.