“Ensuring global access to energy is the only way to integrate remote communities in emerging economies around the world. Centralised electricity grids for urban areas are certainly one way forward, but decentralised solutions are needed to ensure that two thirds of rural populations have access to energy in the near future. Solutions therefore need to be diversified in order to meet the energy needs of developing countries”
Creating new partnerships
However, the full development of non-centralised solutions requires overcoming a number of technical (costs, difficult logistics, low-skilled labour), regulatory and market challenges.
This is where conferences like this come in. Once the speeches and discussions were over, a whole day was dedicated to a series of meetings on investment and financing strategies. These featured representatives of financial institutions for development and the private sector. This is because creating networks of partnerships – public, private and mixed – is one of the fundamental objectives of ARE.
“This edition of the ARE Forum was also an opportunity for investors, project developers and other stakeholders to learn more about future support schemes, innovative products and new business models for accelerating rural electrification and advancing the decentralised renewable energy market”
After the conference, on 16 March, participants were able to visit the 3SUN factory where the first double-sided photovoltaic panel was unveiled. This will allow solar radiation to be captured from the back surface as well. When they left Catania, attendees were therefore able to take home a memory of technological excellence, as well as a message of optimism for the future.