Clean energy will be in the spotlight when a two-day meeting of global electricity regulators kicks-off in Cape Town on Thursday.
Electricity regulators, stakeholders, and experts from South Africa, India, Mexico and Brazil will be meeting to explore the challenges of regulating the electricity sector to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa), the World Resources Institute (USA) as well as India’s Prayas Energy Group collaborated to facilitate the gathering.
The meeting will build on the Electricity Governance Initiative, a global effort to improve transparency, inclusiveness, accountability and capacity in policy and regulation of the electricity sector in support of a just transition to a sustainable energy future.
Regulators from these emerging economies will share their experiences promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and managing the politics associated with sustainable energy programmes.
The emphasis of these discussions will be on exploring how information sharing, stakeholder engagement, citizen participation, and accountability mechanisms can support decision-making processes and successful programmes.
Richard Calland, director of Idasa’s economic governance programme which coordinates the Electricity Governance Initiative in South Africa said: “There are few opportunities for regulators from rapidly growing developing countries to share experiences supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar energy.”
Richard Wood, British Consul-General in Cape Town, emphasised the critical role that regulators can play in supporting environmentally and socially sustainable development in the electricity sector.
“There are many benefits from the opportunities presented from a low carbon transition and regulators can play a key role in unlocking these opportunities.
“The British government is active in supporting the South African government and other stakeholders in creating the right conditions for the move to a low carbon economy,” he said.
Participants will include chairpersons of the Rajasthan and Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commissions in India, the Commission for Electricity Regulation in Mexico, and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
They are all supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, USAID, and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability.