The Clean Energy Solutions Center (“Solutions Center”) is a unique, high-impact initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial that has driven global clean energy policy development since its inception in 2011.
Countries and subnational governments have set ambitious clean energy, climate, and development targets, and the Solutions Center is delivering vital capacity-building and clean energy policy and finance advisory services to support governments in reaching their targets.
Policy makers highly value the Solutions Center and see it as a reliable, unbiased resource for knowledge, tools, and resources to implement clean energy policies and programs.
“The Clean Energy Solutions Center, ever since its conceptualization and inception, has been felt as a unique resource center on energy policy,” noted S.P. Garnaik, Energy Economist from India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency. “An information warehouse of such nature is truly a significant tool to shape an individual’s perception and thinking in energy policy matters.”
Each year, the Solutions Center has grown its network of partners and experts, and in 2016, the Solutions Center continued to demonstrate itself as an invaluable resource on the international stage.
The following highlighted achievements demonstrate the growing impact of the Solutions Center’s Ask an Expert policy assistance service, training programs, and online resource library.
Ask an Expert Policy Assistance
The marquee service of the Solutions Center is its no-cost, high-quality Ask an Expert policy assistance service. This “help desk” for policy makers is an effective, quick-response model for providing technical assistance on clean energy policies and regulations, technologies, and financing mechanisms.
Representatives of government agencies and institutions supporting them can submit a clean energy policy or finance question to the Solutions Center, and within two business days, they will hear from a Solutions Center representative at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Next, the Solutions Center works to match the requester with one of the Solutions Center’s top international clean energy policy and finance experts. This service leverages world-class expertise from over 50 experts located in more than 15 countries to provide up to 120 hours of remote or in-person technical assistance.
In 2016, through the Ask an Expert service, the Solutions Center received and responded to more than 140 national, subnational, and regional requests for advice from governments around the globe—a 160% increase over the number of requests received in 2015.
The Ask an Expert service recently expanded its scope and offerings. Ask an Expert now supports subnational governments, in addition to national and regional entities. Additionally, the Solutions Center provides resources and technical assistance to help governments identify and understand successful clean energy finance instruments.
This expansion makes the Solutions Center one of the most flexible and efficient international technical assistance mechanisms that can tailor support to fit a government’s critical clean energy policy, program, and finance interests and needs.
For example, the Solutions Center assisted the government of Grenada with a review of the country’s Renewable Electricity Policy, strengthening the country’s clean energy regulations to cost-effectively scale up renewable energy generation.
The Solutions Center is also assisting Indonesia on policy best practices for accelerating innovation in its energy sector, as part of the Government of Indonesia’s participation in Mission Innovation.
At the subnational level, the Solutions Center is partnering with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to advance the city’s building energy efficiency measures by analyzing finance options and providing recommendations on ways to mobilize investment for policy implementation.
In Mauritius, the Solutions Center provided assistance to the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities on gender mainstreaming for Mauritius’s Long-term Energy Strategy.
Most notably on gender policy, the Solutions Center supported the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) on a gender mainstreaming in energy access policy that was adopted by ECOWAS energy ministers in 2016.
Power Africa is now supporting the Solutions Center to implement this landmark women’s empowerment policy in West Africa and to replicate the policy in eastern and southern Africa.
Since its inception in 2011, the Solutions Center has responded to more than 350 technical assistance requests, resulting in the creation, adoption, and implementation of clean energy policies around the world.
In addition to providing technical assistance, the Solutions Center provides capacity-building training webinars and workshops. In 2016, the Solutions Center provided more than 45 webinar trainings to over 3,500 participants from around the world.
To date, the Solutions Center has trained more than 15,000 policy makers, regulators, and other stakeholders. Webinars are held on a wide range of clean energy sector policies and technologies and are hosted in collaboration with other Clean Energy Ministerial initiatives, including the International Smart Grid Action Network and the 21st Century Power Partnership. These webinars leverage the expertise of global partners including the International Renewable Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, the International Energy Agency, and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, among many others.
Online Resource Library
The Solutions Center continues to expand its curated web-based resource library, adding 300 reports, databases, briefs, tools, and websites focused on renewable energy, energy access, clean transport, grid integration, financing, and other clean energy topics. With these additions, the library now contains more than 4,000 clean energy policy resources. In 2016, the Solutions Center website received visitors from nearly every country in the world.
As the Solutions Center enters its sixth year, it looks forward to continuing to provide clean energy practitioners and governments with crosscutting technical assistance, resources, and training.
The Solutions Center is co-led by the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Solutions Center also receives support from Power Africa. The Government of Sweden has provided support to the Solutions Center, and the Government of Canada and the Government of Mexico have provided in-kind support.
Visit cleanenergysolutions.org to learn more about Solutions Center services, resources, and partners; sign up for a webinar; or access the resource library. Email email@example.com to learn more about the Ask an Expert service and to get started with an expert.