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Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group

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Fact sheet

Activities

The Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group strives to promote the accelerated deployment of solar and wind technologies worldwide. It initially focused on developing a global atlas for solar and wind energy; a corresponding long-term strategy on joint capacity building; and a report on economic value creation effects from renewable energy deployment, including how to measure these effects and policies to facilitate and optimize them.

The Working Group’s current focus is on two projects; the first project, carried out by the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division, analyses different approaches for system and market integration of variable renewable energies. It also entails a capacity building component in emerging economies. The second project, carried out by IRENA, analyses various design options of the auction scheme and focuses on presenting lessons learnt and best practices on how governments can design and implement auctions in the most cost efficient way while ensuring that projects awarded come online in a timely manner.

The Working Group held a meeting on the sidelines of CEM6 on the IEA’s study: “Securing the Value of Wind and Solar Power.”

Progress

  • The groundbreaking Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy was publicly launched at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly in January 2013. The web-based portal serves as a repository for renewable energy resource data from around the world and is the largest initiative ever undertaken to assess renewable energy potentials on a global scale. Additional countries have also signed the statement of interest, reflecting their commitment to the Global Atlas, with a total of 67 countries and more than 50 organisations contributing as of 2014. Over a one-year period, more than 50,000 users accessed the Global Atlas, which references more than 1,000 data sets as of 2014. The Global Atlas is now being expanded by IRENA to cover additional renewable energy resources, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, and marine energy. A capacity-building module is being created to train policy makers on using geospatial information for decision making. IRENA continues to enhance the tools and applications of the Global Atlas and seeks to continue enlarging the circle of contributing partners.
  • The final report of the Working Group’s economic value creation project, econValue, was released at the fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) in Korea in 2014. The report highlights the economic opportunities offered by solar and wind sector development, as well as how to measure these effects and policies to facilitate and optimize them. In a Ministerial Roundtable at CEM5, high-level government and private-sector representatives discussed how governments can promote domestic growth and employment in line with the increasingly global nature of the renewable energy sector’s supply chains. A key project of the Working Group, econValue was led and coordinated by the Working Group’s lead countries and IRENA. A number of key organizations and research institutions have been involved in this project, including GIZ, IEA-RETD, DIE, Fraunhofer ISI, the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) and the United Kingdom Energy Research Center (UKERC). The report provides a state-of-the-art review of existing impact analysis on the value creation of solar and wind energy technologies by giving a synthesis of the key socioeconomic variables and the main methodologies used to assess the impact of renewable energy deployment. It analyzes policy instruments from various policy areas that can enable the value creation of solar and wind energy and provides policy recommendations on how to best exploit value creation potential. econValue also reviews and assesses the tools and approaches used to estimate the impact of renewable energy deployment on socioeconomic variables. 
  • In the area of capacity building, the Working Group completed a number of projects.
    • The IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (www.irelp.org), an online education and training platform for the wind and solar sectors, was implemented by IRENA together with various partners.
    • A handbook and toolbox on capacity building methodologies and best practices, called Capacity Development Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energy (CaDRE), was implemented by the German Society for International Cooperation, IRENA, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving. Download CaDRE Volume 1: The Handbook. Download CaDRE Volume 2: The Toolbox.

After the Global Atlas (continued by IRENA), capacity building and econValue projects’ successful completion in 2014, the Working Group now focusses on auctioning systems’ increasing role for cost-efficient deployment of renewable energy technologies and market and system integration of rising shares of electricity from variable renewable energy sources. 

Future progress on the actions of the Working Group regarding the accelerated deployment of renewable energy technologies depends on the commitment and support of as many partner countries as possible. Participation of additional partner governments in all activities of the Working Group is highly appreciated. The Working Group welcomes governments and all other stakeholders who have the willingness to contribute to its ongoing activities.