News 2013

VEF 2013 - Focus on ICPE EE HUB

On 29 – 30 May 2013, Mr Janez Podobnik, ICPE Acting Director General with his team participated in the third Vienna Energy Forum which focused on the energy dimension captured in the Rio+20 outcome document “The Future We Want”. The conference, co-organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), brought together over 1000 participants, including heads of State, ministers, energy experts, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector.

Mr Janez Podobnik was invited by UNIDO to be a speaker on the plenary session on Public and Private Partnership chaired by Ms Irene Giner-Reichl, President of Global Forum on Sustainable Energy. Mr Podobnik used this opportunity to present ICPE and with the main focus on activities related to public-private partnership (PPP) with relation to energy and energy efficiency:

  1. the ICPE conference held in October 2012 on Benefits and Challenges of Public Private Partnerships for Improving Energy Efficiency;
  2. the ICPE HUB as the platform for sharing knowledge, encouraging debate and making links with potential partners for PPP projects in the field of energy which was launched as the follow-up of the conference; and
  3. ICPE trainings and workshops on renewable energy and efficiency.

The other penalists’ most important messages from this panel discussion were as followed:

  • Mr Pachauri (IPCC and UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador) highlighted that not only big projects and big companies should go for PPP model but even more important and proof to be much more feasible and more sustainable over the time is small town and village level initiatives because such grassroots initiatives enables creation of entrepreneurship and better financing possibilities at the same time having clear roadmap.
  • Mr Stelzer (UNDESA) put the emphasis on the need of creating ownership from the very beginning in a local community and therefore endorsed the fact pointed by Mr Pachauri that smaller projects are much more successful. In addition, he emphasised of focusing on comparative advantage of each partner and creating trust and predictability for all parties involved as well as the final beneficiaries of projects is of crucial importance for successful.
  • Mr Verhhar (Phillips) emphasised the need of joining efforts with the aim to ensuring effectiveness of resources, financial as well as material and human ones, and ensure that projects are enhancing liveability of environment.

On the other hand, VEF 2013 was promoting some examples of PPP, energy efficiency and renewable energy promotion project that ICPE and the member of the ICPE HUB should pay attention in order to gain more contacts and to find reliable, internationally recognized partners in PPP projects in Europe, especially, Southeastern Europe, and globally through the ICPE HUB such as:

  • UNIDO GEF which links issues related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, chemicals, international waters, and sustainable development within the context of industrial activities;
  • SEED Initiative supporting entrepreneurs for sustainable development, including energy efficiency and energy from renewable resources, founded by UNEP, UNDP and IUCNI;
  • Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) as a multi-donor and multi-implementer programme with the objectives to accelerate the use of renewable energy in Africa;
  • The EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) with the aim to improve access to affordable and sustainable energy services; etc.

Consequently, such cooperation will enable not only share best practices and gain experience from the Southeastern region but also learning from the examples and experience of other regions. Although, good practice cases cannot simply be transplanted it worth knowing it better for learning valuable lessons. Governments and regional authorities should learn from these cases, while taking full account of specific circumstances in their own environment.

Also, at VEF 2013 as well as in the ICPE conference on PPP and energy efficiency in October 2012 was highlighted that PPP model, given current financial constraints and how often the market fails in delivering public goods, being energy one of them, PPP could serve as an instruments to facilitate reconciliation between sometimes contradictory public and private interests and generate benefits from the innovative combination of the best elements of the two spheres. Accordingly, this prevents underperformance, inefficiency or misappropriations which results in loss of public trust and creates doubts about the PPP model.

Thereby, it can be fairly stated that the ICPE HUB by aiming to provide knowledge and achieving energy efficiency, especially through small-case PPPs in local and rural communities who are at the greatest disadvantage in terms of accessibility of energy and available energy mix, i.e. they have much less choice, are thoughtful and in the line of current global discussion on PPP model feasibility and its role in development agenda.

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