REN21 & COVID-19: Strengthening ‘business as usual’ with digital connections

Despite the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, we’re still working to drive the change to renewables.  Here at REN21, we’re incredibly fortunate that the transition to telecommuting hasn’t been too challenging. After the French government’s announcement that working from home would be mandatory starting the 16 March, we picked up our laptops, files and reports, and settled into our home offices for the foreseeable future.

It’s business as usual, and our research team are working hard

Aside from the personal challenges of telecommuting, particularly with kids at home (what our Executive Director Rana Adib describes as ‘a new Olympic discipline’), nothing much has changed in way the REN21 staff are going about their work.  It is, for the most part, business as usual.

working online REN21 team
REN21 team members in a virtual team meeting.


Our international community is already connected and well-versed in working online with us. Our Renewables 2020  Global Status Report is in peer review, and on-course for its annual launch in June. Meanwhile, we’ve launched Calls for Proposal for chapter authors and are looking for a Special Advisor to support our next Renewables in Cities Global Status Report.

Getting together digitally is more important than ever

Following the cancellation of so many events, we are well aware of missed connections and discussions. We are founded on the belief that collaboration between players is what will bring us our goal of Renewables, Now!

With forced physical isolation, we have to be more creative about how we engage others, optimising learning and sharing knowledge differently. So, we have chosen to see challenges imposed by COVID-19 as an opportunity to try new things.

We’re learning how to better connect, digitally

Right now, we’re learning how to better connect with our community. We’ve been brainstorming communications ideas and talking to experts about online event facilitation. It’s quite a steep learning curve, but we’re honing skills which we know will be useful post-crisis. The world is looking to an uncertain future, but the benefits of connecting digitally, rather than physically, are becoming increasingly clearer.


Vibhushree Hamirwasia working - home office
Vibhushree Hamirwasia, REN21 Community Manager, in her home office.


Keep your eye on our Let’s Meet Up! calendar and our social media channels for digital events, webinars and videos that we’ve got planned.

We’re also taking this opportunity to highlight the digital conferences, webinars and podcasts hosted and produced by our members.  You can find a list in our latest newsletter; we are also sharing information about these events on our social media channels.

If you’re organising an online event that you think would be of interest to the REN21 community, or would like to collaborate with us on one our planned events, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Don’t forget to read the March edition of our newsletter for news from our members and latest updates from the Secretariat.


There’s still time to apply to be a chapter author for our next Renewables in Cities Global Status Report! Applications open here, closes Sunday 5 April 2020.