If the world had 100 people, 19 would have no electricity

Neil Jeffery, CEO of Renewable World – EWEA’s chosen charity – shares his thoughts on the EWEA Annual Event in Copenhagen in April and on how renewable energy can bring affordable electricity to some of the world’s poorer regions…

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) 2012 Annual Event was an inspiring week, reminding me how much more we can potentially achieve to bring affordable energy to the poorest on the planet far and how far Renewable World has come as a successful and growing organisation.

Sitting in one of the conference sessions watching the simple and clear graphics designed by the EWEA team that explained how the world needs constant innovation and pioneers to drive forward positive change, I was reminded of the critical role of dedicated, hardworking and visionary individuals to push forward the creation of appropriate responses to critical global challenges.

Renewable World is a truly remarkable set of such individuals who, in partnership with the renewable energy industry, have the potential to play a unique role in contributing to the improvement of access to affordable, reliable, clean energy for the poorest consumers on the planet. Our relationship with the renewable energy industry has grown and strengthened visibly over the last 12 months to the point where now we have over 50 companies from all sectors of the industry supporting our work, and we can truly say that we are the charity of the renewable energy industry.

This partnership brings unique benefits to some of the world’s poorest people. If the world were a village of 100 people today, 19 would have no electricity at all and 39 would lack access to modern energy services. Rising political interest and international media attention will help shine a spotlight on the role renewable energy can play in improving the lives of the poorest people on the planet. Given the global momentum behind the issue now truly is the time for the renewable energy industry to show increased leadership and action on the issue energy access.

At the event in Copenhagen I saw real evidence of the power of credible ideas in action: Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA, and I spoke together at the end the closing ceremony for the EWEA 2012 conference about the potential for the renewable energy industry to play an enhanced contribution in the development of society. I described how Renewable World sees itself playing a vital role to kick start market activity through the provision of renewable energy, coupled with income generation opportunities, to promote and enhance the possibility of market based solutions bringing more sustainable livelihoods, health and education to these isolated regions.’ To read a text version of my presentation at the end of the EWEA2012 conference please click here.

This is a positive message to share with stakeholders across the industry regarding the leadership role the sector can play in promoting societal and economic value. We are delighted that Christian Kjaer has agreed to join the board of Renewable World to help spread this message across the industry, and are incredibly grateful of his support to date. We look forward to working with Christian and other senior members of the renewable energy industry to increase the impact and the scope of our work to bring affordable, reliable clean energy to the poorest on the planet.