Interview with United Nations – UNEP – by the European Energy Centre (EEC) – Part 2

Dean Cooper - UNEP

Dean Cooper - UNEP - United Nations - Wind Power

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Part 2: Practical Steps & Getting Involved

(Read Part 1 here)

Recently, the EEC sat down with Dean Cooper, Energy Finance Programme Manager at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to discuss 2015 projects and opportunities for individuals and organisations to get involved with UNEP’s work in developing countries.

European Energy Centre (EEC): What are the next steps in order to advance the clean energy mini-grids?

Dean Cooper, United Nations UNEP: The first step is to involve both the public and private sectors, and to get the locals involved in stakeholder management. We then need to get the business model prepared to make sure we can demonstrate the investment potential most effectively. This could have been done via a report; however we didn’t think this would be enough to convince people of the investment opportunities.

So instead we are taking this one step further and organising practical demonstrations with different business models in different areas because we know that in each location this will be different. We can then show different types of financing models and approach an investor who may be looking elsewhere, and show them the sorts of approaches they can use to get a good return.

EEC: How can people practically get involved?

Dean Cooper: In terms of getting people involved, we need partners for these demonstrations who are going to be interested in the long term prospects. We have selected a number of countries where we want to hold the demonstrations and have involved a range of partners, from the technology providers – PV, wind, hydro, biomass providers – to the financiers and potential investors who want to get involved, and the public funders. Many local governments and international funding bodies are keen to become part of this demonstration process. During the Brownfields assessment, the countries we initially looked at were Kenya, the Gambia and Togo in Africa; the Dominican Republic, Colombia and St Vincent & the Grenadines in Latin America; and the Philippines and Indonesia in Asia. From the results of the initial Brownfields assessment, and good contacts with key players in other locations, we have channelled our interests into countries where we think the demonstration phase can be most appropriate: the focus countries that we are now looking at are Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania in Africa, the Dominican Republic and Colombia in Latin America and the Philippines in Asia. For those six countries, we have put together concepts for the business models to be demonstrated.

We already have a good range of partners, but we’re currently looking to add more for these demonstration programmes. So if there are people interested to become involved at this stage, we would be very interested to hear from them. Otherwise we would be happy to circulate the results of this project so far to any potential investors or technology suppliers who feel that this is an opportunity for them in the longer term.

Getting involved with High Impact Opportunities (HIOs)

This work is all connected to the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All which was launched last year. The implementation of this campaign is done through High Impact Opportunities (HIOs), by identifying areas which can have the greatest impact in terms of the three main objectives: improving energy access, renewables and energy efficiency. There are a small number of HIOs which have already been launched, the first of which was the clean energy mini-grid HIO in June last year. UNEP is now chairing the coordination group for this HIO and as such our programmes fit closely within the SE4ALL framework. It is very straightforward to get involved with this HIO – you can sign up as a member, and there’s a website with a Yammer function in order to encourage interaction between different stakeholders, help to form partnerships that can address this area, and be better informed to identify upcoming opportunities.  

More information on the SE4ALL HIO on clean energy mini-grids can be found at:

The Yammer interaction website can be found at (please note that you should only contribute to the Yammer interactions after having signed up as a member to the HIO)

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