The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an Abu Dhabi based inter-Governmental Body that works on global policies and programmes in the renewable energy sector, hosted a two-day practitioners' meeting on November 30-December 1, 2011 at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB).
Over 50 participants from more than 20 countries convened to explore how local renewable energy entrepreneurship can be enabled to upscale energy access market. The objective of this meeting was to provide a platform for sharing of lessons and best practices on how to promote small and growing enterprises that provide renewable energy services for households, villages and communities. The meet also focused on the issue of how different stakeholders could work together most effectively to ensure growth of sustainable energy services in rural areas from the angle of climate change solutions.
The workshop was hosted with the support and guidance of Professor A Damodaran from IIMB and NextGen-The Energy and Environment Company, an ex-incubatee at Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), IIMB.
Participants hailed from diverse backgrounds, including social enterprises (such as SELCO & ORB Energy in India, Emprenda in Argentina, and Wilkin Solar in Ghana), development agencies, local financial institutions (e.g., ICICI Bank) and government policy makers (MNRE-India).
At the inaugural of the knowledge sharing session which was conducted at IIM Bangalore Campus on November 30, the 4 segments of energy access market was focused upon viz - Business models, Market development, Policy drivers and Capacity building. Participants from various nationalities shared their experiences as to how these drivers can be leveraged to scale up the energy access market through renewable energy solutions. Also, potential issues pertaining to south-south technology transfer was discussed during this session.
On Day 2, NextGen facilitated participants for site visit to four sites which showcased successful renewable energy business models. SELCO, ORB Energy, TERI Biomass gasifier and NextGen's Waste to Energy Model (Biogas plant) were the selected sites. These site visits were intended to enable participants gain an idea of on-ground implementation of the renewable energy business models.