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2015 Clean Energy and Regulation Forum Report

On August 24th and 25th 2015 in Bangalore, India, EGI hosted their fourth Clean Energy and Regulation Forum. Regulators, civil society and independent experts convened to exchange views on innovative practices to promoting clean energy through the regulatory process.

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2014 EGI Global Partner Retreat Report

EGI held its annual Global Partner Retreat from November 22-24, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, where representatives from each of EGI’s 10 partner countries convened to talk about ongoing and upcoming projects, and key issues and challenges in electricity governance.

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OCN Case Study: South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program

In 2011, South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE), the National Energy Regulator (NERSA), and state-owned utility; ESKOM, jointly launched the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme(REIPPP) to in order to reach renewable energy targets set in the Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP2010).

The REIPPP is a competitive bidding program that consists of five bidding windows. From 2012 to 2013, The Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa (EGI-SA) worked with WRI’s Measurement and Performance Tracking Project (MAPT) to assess the first two bidding windows of the REIPPP process using the Climate Policy Implementation Toolkit developed by the Open Climate Network (OCN). The toolkit provides guidance to assess the institutional factors on which effective climate policy implementation depends by looking at key policy functions and principles of good governance.

The report assesses the implementation of the REIPPP from its early bidding stages. It highlights initial successes while also presenting implementation challenges and governance gaps, providing lessons learned and offering recommendations moving forward.

Submissions for round three of the bidding process were due in August 2013 with preferred bidders to be announced on 29 October, 2013. It is expected that bidders will then have until 30 July to sign power-purchase agreements.

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OCN Case Study: Andra Pradesh's Solar Energy Policy Implementation

During 2012-2013, the People’s Monitoring Group on Electricity Regulation (PMGER), a network of energy experts and civil society organizations, assessed Andra Pradesh’s solar energy policy (APSEP) using the Climate Policy Implementation Diagnostic Tool developed by the Open Climate Network (OCN). Convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI), OCN seeks to accelerate the transition to a low-emission, climate-resilient future by providing consistent and credible information that enhances accountability both between and within countries.

The toolkit provides guidance to assess the institutional factors on which effective climate policy implementation depends by looking at key policy functions and principles of good governance. Drawing on publically available information, performance review processes, and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the regulators and renewable energy industry representatives, the report assesses the APSEP implementation thus far. It highlights implementation gaps and provides recommendations for research agendas for legislative and executive review mechanisms.

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2012 EGI Global Partner Retreat Report

EGI held its annual Global Partner Retreat from September 16-18, 2012 in Kuta, Bali, where representatives from each of its ten partner countries convened to talk about ongoing and upcoming projects.

Partners were invited to highlight the main pressing issues that burden the electricity sector in their countries from a governance perspective, with many countries citing affordability, reliability, access, security and low carbon planning as main concerns. The emphasis of the discussions was to share experiences and feedback on EGI tools, including the 10 Questions to Ask Series, Electricity Distribution Interface Toolkit (EDIT), and Low-Carbon Policy Tracking Framework and Policy Implementation Framework.

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Opening Government: A Guide to Best Practice in Transparency, Accountability and Civic Engagement Across the Public Sector

The Open Government Partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee of eight governments and nine civil society organizations. The Open Government Partnership will formally launch in September 2011, when the eight governments on the steering committee embrace the Open Government Declaration and announce their country action plans.

To help inform governments, civil society and the private sector in developing their OGP commitments, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/A Initiative) has reached out to leading experts across a wide range of open government fields to gather their input on current best practice and the practical steps that OGP participants and other governments can take to achieve it. EGI contributed to their document: “Opening Government: A Guide to Best Practice in Transparency, Accountability and Civic Engagement Across the Public Sector”, with insights on the electricity sector. The result of this collaboration is the first document of its kind to compile the state of the art in transparency, accountability and citizen participation across 15 areas of governance.

The Electricity Governance Initiative has drafted the Electricity component for potential commitments in the sector, focusing on transparent processes for developing national Power Development Plans. Power Development Plans indicate the resource mix that a country’s Department of Energy intends to use to meet demand for electricity, and the amount of funding that will be needed to implement the plan. Public oversight of these major investments of public resources is critical in a sector that has dramatic impacts on the national economy as well as global and local environmental impacts, public health and quality of life.

Download the electricity component here

The T/A I website will be transforming the “Opening Government” document into specific pages for each section, including for electricity, where other experts will come to comment and propose additional steps that governments and other actors can take to improve open government in that field.

We invite you to also comment directly to us, and share with us your thoughts for improvements in this critical field. If you have further questions, feel free to contact Davida Wood at dwood@wri.org.

Click here for more information on the Open Government Partnership

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Clean Energy, Good Governance & Electricity Regulation Forum Report

The Forum on Clean Energy, Good Governance and Electricity Regulation on 20 - 21 May 2010 in Cape Town built on the ongoing work of the WRI-Prayas Electricity Governance Initiative, and Idasa’s related efforts to draw attention to governance challenges in South Africa’s electricity sector.

Regulators from emerging economies countries were invited to share their experiences promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and managing the politics and trade-offs associated with such programs. Civil society and industry stakeholders from the same countries shared their perspectives on these programs. Regulators and experts from the United States and Europe offered insights into the keys to the successful design and implementation of sustainable energy programs. The emphasis of these discussions were on decision-making processes, in order to explore how information sharing, stakeholder engagement, citizen participation, and accountability mechanisms can support successful programs.

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Clean Energy Regulation and Civil Society in India: Need and challenges to effective participation

This report by Prayas is the only to draw attention to governance challenges in clean energy development and what needs to be done to promote civil society participation in the regulatory process. The findings of this report will contribute to building discourse about more rational and transparent, yet ambitious, clean energy development program in the country.

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The Two Worlds of Planning

EGI South Africa partner Saliem Fakir, Head of the Living Planet Unit of the World Wildlife Fund-South Africa, completed a policy brief on the conflicting policies for renewable energy in South Africa. The policy brief raises questions about planning and governance of the renewable energy market. The brief draws on the policy indicators and case studies prepared for the Electricity Governance Initiative South Africa.

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Exchange Trip and Follow-up Activities of Thai Energy Delegates on Energy Regulatory and Planning Practices to Washington

A new report documents the continuing work of EGI partner Palang Thai to build the capacity of the newly formed Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In 2005, EGI worked closely with Thai NGOs and government on energy regulatory reform. The EGI toolkit helped broaden and give weight to the discussion of the need for a good regulatory framework, leading to the drafting of the Energy Industry Act in 2007 and the establishment of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2008.

A new report documents the continuing work of EGI partner Palang Thai to build the capacity of the newly formed Electricity Regulatory Commission.  Palang Thai worked with Washington State-based AWISH (A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity) to organize an exchange trip that brought high level Thai and US counterparts together for a set of discussions on power sector planning and regulation. In September 2008, the Thai delegation visited energy installations and participated in round-table discussions with energy decision-makers in the Pacific Northwest. Follow-up meetings and a public seminar in Thailand in January 2009 built on the momentum generated by the exchange.

As a result of these activities, the Thai Energy Regulatory Commission publicly stated their intention to support transition to an integrated resource planning process.

The report frames the context for this exchange in terms of the respective structures of the Thai and Pacific Northwest power sectors. Thailand, despite being the first developing country to adopt net metering regulations, has an incentive system that has contributed to substantial overinvestment in electricity generation. As of 2008, Thailand’s reserve margin is 29%, compared to an official target of 15%. At the same time, the cost of new investments and those related to power purchase agreements are passed on to rate payers, who have virtually no voice in deciding what types of power plants are built.

In the Pacific Northwest, environmental restrictions on large dam construction led to a massive nuclear effort in the 1970s and 1980s. Delays, cost-overruns and high interest rates lead to electricity tariffs doubling overnight, and the mothballing of 5 out of 6 of the plants that had been planned. Bond holders were left with a 2.25 billion default. Citizen activism in the wake of these issues led to a revolution in energy planning, with a regulatory process that was much more open to public participation.

The ultimate goal of the exchange activities is to build the capacity of Thai energy stakeholders – and the ERC in particular – to consider institutionalizing true least-cost power sector planning and utility incentive structures, and to enable more meaningful public involvement in key decisions in the sector.

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Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation Forum Report

This report draws on the presentations and discussions of the two day Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation Forum organized by the World Resources Institute, Prayas Energy Group and REEEP in March 2008. Hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, the Forum brought together regulators from India, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the US and Australia to share information about initiatives launched by their respective institutions to promote sustainable energy. 

The report highlights the wealth and range of experience that regulatory institutions in Asia are accumulating on the question of how to advance and implement sustainable energy solutions. It provides a unique articulation of the challenges that regulators confront at an operational level, including an in-depth analysis of the space for regulators to be proactive on this front and the limitations on this space. 

The report includes the background materials that informed the Forum discussions along with the case studies prepared by the participating regulators. Also available on the EGI website are civil society responses to the regulators’ presentations, providing a sense of the fullness of discussion at the Forum and the potential for constructive collaboration between regulators and public interest organizations.

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New Approaches to Electricity Governance

The paper “New Approaches to Electricity Governance” by Smita Nakhooda considers the particular challenges of governing the power sector in Asia, with an emphasis on the role of civil society in arranging processes, institutions, actors and incentives to align investment with sustainable development.

It draws on the research and ongoing advocacy efforts of the Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) using recent cases and narratives from the EGI experience in Thailand, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Drawing on these illustrative examples, the paper provides an empirical basis to consider three themes: power sector planning; electricity regulation; and the implications of regional integration. The analysis highlights issues of institutional capacity, public participation, transparency, and accountability that will need to be addressed in order to meet the many challenges of sustainable development in Asia’s power sector.

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Generating Dialogue: Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation

The background paper “Generating Dialogue” was written to help stimulate debate at the Forum on Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation.

The paper explores the emerging role of electricity regulatory institutions in addressing sustainable energy. It reviews some of the key regulatory processes and mechanisms that impact sustainable energy, including the processes for setting retail tariffs, and considers the challenges of balancing different interests in this context. It concludes by raising questions about how better governance might help address these challenges.

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Alternative Power Planning

Alternative Power Planning, a booklet published by Prayas Energy Group and Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, seeks to address environmental and economic concerns and ensure a sustainable way forward for India’s power sector. It provides a basic overview of India’s power sector, and proceeds to outline a possible alternative to the current model of planning in the country that places greater emphasis on sustainable economic development, equity and environment. This new publication seeks to inform and enable individual citizens, consumer organizations, and social and environmental activists, to participate in power sector planning and policy processes.

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