Image: United Nations Industrial Development Organization
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), which was recently launched in Windhoek, Namibia, aims to spearhead the promotion of renewable energy development in the region.
It is expected to contribute substantially to the development of thriving regional renewable energy and energy efficiency markets, through knowledge sharing and technical advice in the areas of policy and regulation, technology cooperation, capacity development, as well as investment promotion.
The centre will be an independent SADC institution that should be owned and supported by member states for sustainability purposes, to give the centre more authority to spearhead efforts to increase the uptake of renewable energy sources in the region.
The official launch of SACREEE is part of the First Operational Phase of the centre during which it has primarily focused on developing renewable energy programs for the region and resource mobilisation.
Initially set to run from 2014-2017, the phase delayed completion by a year.
The Second Operational Phase, from 2018-2021 will focus on activities to ensure sustainability of the centre after the exit of international cooperating partners.
As part of its efforts to speed up the implementation of renewable energy in Namibia, Austrian Development Agency managing director, Martin Ledolter, said SACREEE would assist SADC to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universal access to sustainable energy services by 2030.