Sunday, August 14, 2011

What is DIREC-2010?
The Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC 2010) . It was the fourth global ministerial-level conference on renewable energy, following previous events in Washington, D.C. in 2008, Beijing in 2005, and Bonn in 2004. With the main theme on “upscaling and mainstreaming renewables for energy security, climate change, and economic development,” DIREC will provide an international platform for government, private sector, and civil society leaders to jointly address the goal of advancing renewable energy through policy development.

Through interactive, moderated discussions, DIREC 2010 will enable participants to acquire a deeper understanding of the policy efforts needed to encourage and enable major scale up of renewables; the measures to mobilize finance for renewable energy innovation, deployment, and end use; and the benefits of collaboration, synergies, and knowledge-sharing at the international level. DIREC will continue the International Action Programme, begun in Bonn, which promotes voluntary pledges (and policy targets) for concrete and innovative actions to advance renewables.

The Indian government, host of DIREC 2010, has demonstrated its commitment to scaling up renewable energy. India ranks fifth worldwide in installed renewable power capacity (not counting large hydro), with 10.9 GW of wind power, 2 GW of small hydro, and 1.5 GW of biomass power. India also had 110 MW of rural biomass gasifiers operating and was making extensive use of many other forms renewables in rural areas (see Section 5 on Rural Renewable Energy). The ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) aims to install 20 GW of solar power capacity by 2022, which will result in further technological development in India’s solar sector, allow solar energy to attain grid parity at a much faster speed, and bring in additional job opportunities. In May 2010, the Indian government also reported plans for a new renewable energy certificate scheme designed to drive investment in low-carbon energy projects.

DIREC 2010 is the fourth in the series of International Renewable Energy Conferences, which follows from the initiative taken at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, acknowledging the significance of renewable energy for sustainable development. It is an international platform for government, private sector, and civil society leaders to jointly address the goal of advancing renewable energy.

In previous “IREC’s” (Washington 2008 and Bonn 2004) our friends from REN21 have been responsible for a “International Action Programme“. The idea was to collect concrete actions and commitments towards developing renewable energies during the conferences (“Pledges”) and follow that up after the conference (also see their database of pledges). In Bonn more than 200 pledges have been collected and during WIREC in Washington 145 pledges constituted the major result of this conference. This year the host governments of India together with REN21 invite governments and other stakeholders to pledge voluntary actions towards advancing renewable energy deployment and policy development. The theme of this year’s Pledge Programme is ‘mainstreaming’ renewable energy into the development of a low carbon pathway. Furthermore, because DIREC is being held in India, which like many countries faces enormous challenges as regards providing its population with electricity and energy services, pledges that target deploying renewable energy in rural areas are particularly encouraged. In implementing those pledges, countries can share good policy practice and business models to overcome these challenges.


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