Institutional Support to the Implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Action Plan
Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) is a global initiative initiated by the former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, which aims to achieve three goals by 2030 globally:
- Energy Access: ensure universal access to modern energy services;
- Energy Efficiency: double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
- Renewable Energy: double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
The Government of Ghana was one of the first countries to embark on this initiative and determined to focus on increasing universal energy access by off-grid community-based electrification, improving access to modern fuels for cooking (improved cook stoves and LPG), and promoting productive uses of energy.
In this regard, the Energy Commission, national focal point for SE4ALL, with technical and financial support from UNDP, developed the SE4ALL Action Plan which was officially launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. The Action Plan identifies key bottlenecks/barriers and proposes critical actions and commitments to address prioritised needs in the energy sector towards the attainment of the objectives outlined above.
Since 2013, UNDP has been supporting the implementation of the Action Plan, specifically looking at the following areas of work:
● Develop and enforce a regulatory framework for the improved cookstoves market in Ghana
● Demonstrate viability of Productive Uses of Energy (PUE) related projects
● Provide technical support to develop bankable project proposals to implement the Action Plan
● Develop a participatory system for monitoring and evaluating energy access programmes in Ghana
Accomplishments – progress and key achievements (as of June 2017)
● In collaboration with Ghana Standards Authority, efficiency and performance standards for improved cookstoves have been developed and are expected to be gazetted by the end of 2017. This is to ensure that all cookstoves available on the market are efficient and have low emission levels.
● A Cookstove Testing and Expertise Lab has been established at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The laboratory is meant not only to test cookstoves (especially to verify compliance with the standards, when published), but also to conduct research to further improve the technology.
● In collaboration with the Energy Center of KNUST, the Energy Commission developed a toolkit that uses Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques to provide data on access to electricity, LPG and renewable energy sources. The toolkit is being used for both planning and monitoring purposes.
● In order to promote awareness on improved cookstoves, radio jingles were developed in 6 different languages, and aired on 45 local and national radio stations. The first two editions of the Renewable Energy Fair were successfully organized by the Energy Commission and constituted a platform to discuss the renewable energy sector (policies, challenges, success stories etc.) and to showcase public and private interventions in the sector.
● The Energy Commission and a local NGO, New Energy, demonstrated the potential of tapping the sun to increase rural incomes. Solar-powered irrigation pumps were installed in four communities in the Northern Region with a capacity to deliver up to 1 million liters of water each to 15 hectares of land. Drip irrigation demonstration kits were also installed. This technology utilizes water more efficiently and makes it possible to expand the irrigation area. 78 farmers have benefitted from the project, which reduces energy costs and allows for multiple harvests each year. The success of this pilot project convinced Government to upscale it and plans are in place to access climate finance.
● Development of the Ghana Energy Access Toolkit: in collaboration with the Energy Center of KNUST, the Energy Commission developed a toolkit that uses Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques to provide data on access to electricity, LPG and renewable energy sources. The toolkit is being used for both planning and monitoring purposes.
● UNDP has strengthened the capacity of the SE4ALL Secretariat to develop bankable project proposals. A technical advisor has been engaged to facilitate the development of bankable projects and source for financing for the projects. So far, the advisor has contributed to the development of 6 project proposals and 2 project concept notes that have been submitted to different funding sources and are currently under consideration. With support from the advisor, the SE4ALL Secretariat has organized outreach programmes to create awareness on PUEs among key stakeholders, and initiated data collection to bring to the lime light the various projects and initiatives that have been implemented across the nation, learning from their successes and failures and identifying means of upscaling and replicating these projects in other regions.
UNDP has provided about $640,000 from its core resources and $90,000 from the UN Regional Energy Programme.