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GSR 2015

25 INCREASE SUPPORT TO THE RENEWABLE HEATING AND COOLING SECTOR Globally, heating and cooling accounts for almost half of total global energy demand. However, this sector continues to lag far behind the renewable power sector when it comes to policies that support technology development and deployment. Building obligations (both for energy efficiency improvements and deployment of renewable technologies) are central to increasing the penetration of renewable heating and cooling technologies. In addition to buildings, it is important that there are requirements to integrate renewable energy into industrial and district heating systems. These support not only the development of renewable energy heating, but also the integration of variable power generation, relieving pressure on power grids. Policymakers at all levels of government need to support the development of renewable heat given the large share of heat in final energy demand. Further development of integrated approaches for the heating and electricity sectors also can contribute to reducing grid pressure. IMPROVE ACCESS TO FINANCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Indevelopingcountries,accesstofinancialresourcesiscentralto establishing a diversified, stable energy supply. With renewable energy, expansion of the energy supply for all customer groups is becoming increasingly a political and financial challenge, not a technical one. Deployment is often constrained by a lack of available financial resources, high costs of capital, or reluctance on the part of investors. In order to expand energy markets to reach full energy access, the public sector needs to ensure political stability, which in turn sends a positive signal to investors. Public finance mechanisms such as preferential loans and grants as well as loan guarantees can be effective in leveraging private sector investment by overcoming the lack of private financial instruments, facilitating market development, and mitigating risk. Financial instruments can be implemented on both the supply and demand sides, supporting project developers and energy users to drive the evolution of projects to high-capacity deployment. Additionally, acquiring financing and buy-in necessitates trust in the technology, which requires the development of standards, certification, etc. to ensure quality. This is similarly important for developing local industries and the ability to export renewable energy products. DRIVE GOOD DECISIONS WITH GOOD DATA Reliable, timely, and regularly updated data are essential for establishing energy plans, defining targets, designing and continuously evaluating policy measures, and attracting investment. The data situation for renewable energy—especially in the power sector—has improved significantly in recent years. Nonetheless, data availability, accessibility, and quality remain limited for distributed renewable energy (including modern renewable heat), in particular. Improved and consolidated data are required to understand market potential, to drive policy development, and to attract investors. Policymakers should pay particular attention to improving the data situation on distributed renewable energy in developing countries and on renewable energy heating and cooling; due to the decentralised nature of these sectors, both present major data challenges, but they are key to meeting energy access goals and driving the energy transition, respectively. Innovative and collaborative approaches to data collection, processing, and validation are necessary. Informal data are central to closing data gaps, but they require collaboration with new players from a variety of non-energy sectors (such as agriculture, industry, and health), as well as the integration of new methods and approaches for data collection. There is a critical need to broaden the definition of renewable energy data, to collect data in a regular and more systematic manner, and to increase transparency. For decentralised renewable energy for energy access, policymakers and donors need to build into their programmes and activities continuous data collection and reporting.

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