Thematic Spotlight

Thematic Reports

Renewable Energy Tenders and Community [Em]power[ment]: Latin America and the Caribbean

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Renewable Energy Tenders and Community [Em]power[ment]: Latin America and the Caribbean, looks at the interface between the tendering process and the role that communities can play in renewable energy uptake in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Tenders have been a particularly popular mechanism in Latin America and the Caribbean in attracting record-setting participation.  However an unintended consequence has been the de facto exclusion of a range of actors; including small business, communities, indigenous people, local government, property developers and farmers.

This report looks at various tender processes and community renewable energy projects across the LAC region and proposes amechanism that could be used to encourage community involvement in renewable energy tendering process.

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REN21, < year of publication > < Name of publication > Paris, REN21 Secretariat

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THE FIRST DECADE: 2004 -2014

Download (PDF, 48 pages, 12 MB, 11/14)

The First Decade: 2004-2014 documents the evolution of renewables since 2004 measuring progress by technology and by region, ending with a look at lessons learnt and offering a vision for the future.

Since 2004, the number of countries promoting renewable energy with direct policy support has nearly tripled, from 48 to over 140, and an ever-increasing number of developing and emerging countries are setting renewable energy targets and enacting support policies. The reports documents the steady increase in the global demand for renewable energy over the past decade, looking at each technology in turn and showing its evolution annually. Global investment is also tracked as well as the evolution of renewable technology uptake, market and policy development by region.

The report notes that as solar, wind, biomass, and other energy sources gain market share, the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) is becoming an important metric in the decision-making process for building new power generation. Strong policy signals from governments are also needed to ensure that renewables are a central component of national energy supply chains. Scenarios illustrating that by 2050, 65 to 94% of electricity and 30 to 72% of transport are likely to be met by renewables are also presented as possible future developments.

Mini-grid Policy Toolkit


Download (PDF, 136 pages, 17.6 MB, 11/14)


The Mini-grid Policy Toolkit is for policy makers to navigate the mini-grid policy design process. It contains information on mini-grid operator models, the economics of mini-grids, and necessary policy and regulation that must be considered for successful implementation. The publication specifically focuses on Africa.

Progress on extending the electricity grid in many countries has remained slow because of high costs of gird-extension and limited utility/state budgets for electrification. Mini-grids provide an affordable and cost-effective option to extend needed electricity services. Putting in place the right policy for min-grid deployment requires considerable effort but can yield significant improvement in electricity access rates as examples from Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania illustrate.

True Cost of Electric Power


Download (PDF, 06/2012)

The year began with a wave of activity, REN21 co-organised the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference together with the government of the United Arab Emirates. This first Middle Eastern IREC was timely as the MENA region is poised to be a renewable energy champion as documented in REN21’s MENA Renewables Status Report. January also the launch of a new publication, the Renewables Globals Futures Report. This provided valuable insights into the current opinions on the future of renewable energy.

REN21 continued its close collaboration with key players such as the IEA, UNEP, World Bank and IRENA, leading to joint events and products and a underlying organisational complementarities. The REN21 Global Status Report  showcased an impressive increase in global capacity across all renewable energy sectors, with supporting policies spreading to nearly 140 countries. Investment in renewables also increased substantially.

Global Status Report on Local Renewable Energy Policies

Download (PDF, 2.4 MB, 05/11)

City and local governments can play a key role in encouraging renewable energy at the local level. The multiple roles of these local governments–as decision-makers, planning authorities, managers of municipal infrastructure, and role models for citizens and businesses–are crucial to the global transition to renewable energy now underway. It is their political mandate that makes local governments ideal drivers of change–to govern and guide their communities, provide services, and manage municipal assets.

The Global Status Report on Local Renewable Energy Policies takes a closer look on how local governments can also play a key role as facilitators of change, particularly in terms of raising awareness and facilitating community and business actions by a range of stakeholders.

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