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27 Jul 2016 | News

Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region Under Development

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A consultative preparatory process for a Himalayan Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (HCREEE) was launched on 27 July 2016 with the signing of a subcontract by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Financial support is provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). As the process continues over the next months, the added value, feasibility and best technical and institutional design of the centre will be determined.

The creation of the centre is a result of development challenges of peri-urban and rural populations in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountains. The region is home for more than 211 million people including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. No other region in South Asia suffers as much climate change and a looming energy crisis as the remote, off-grid, high altitude mountain areas of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, where living conditions are harsh and many people are vulnerable and marginalised.

A strong demand for decentralised sustainable energy solutions exists especially in off-grid mountain areas to promote social development and increase productivity of industrial key sectors, such as food processing, manufacturing of high value niche products and services (e.g. medicinal and aromatic plants, indigenous honeybees) and mountain tourism. However, the region could be utilising renewable energy better. Numerous barriers — policy and regulatory, technical, knowledge, awareness, capacity, cultural, financial and business — prevent the dissemination and use of these technologies.

The proposed centre will promote the uptake of markets, industries and innovation for adapted sustainable energy mountain solutions through regional exchange and methodologies. The centre will act as a regional hub of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) building excellence in the HKH region by strengthening ongoing national activities in the areas of technology demonstration, investing and promoting, rural developing and implementing energy policy, developing capacity, managing knowledge and data, as well as awareness raising.

The centre will be part of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) which is coordinated by UNIDO in partnership with regional organisations. The network is currently supported by more than 89 energy ministers and/or heads of government in all parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Caribbean, Pacific and Central America.

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