Deploying decision-making tools and assessments to facilitate investments
IRENA Pavilion, COP27 Blue Zone
08 November 2022
The sensitive and fragile ecosystems of the mountain economies face the brunt of the climate impacts. Extreme temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and environmental degradation are impacting hundreds of millions of people relying on mountain products and services for their livelihoods. Remoteness, combined with limited physical infrastructure (e.g., transport, electricity), also means that mountains areas generally lag plains on various development indicators, including poverty alleviation, water and food security, and decent jobs.
In the mountain context, urgent mitigation action must be accompanied by adaptation and resilience building for communities and local enterprises. Access to secure, affordable, and sustainable energy is a key infrastructure input to strengthen local value chains, unlock livelihood opportunities in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism, and advance public services including healthcare and education. The decentralized nature of renewables makes them suitable to meet electricity and heating/cooling needs of homes, clinics, schools, agro-processing centers, and commercial enterprises alike.
To facilitate investments in renewable energy solutions in mountain areas, IRENA and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)1 have undertaken assessments to bridge the data and information gap. In particular, an energy assessment of three agri-food value chains was carried out to identify energy flows at each stage, gaps and opportunities for renewable energy intervention. Recognizing that beyond technology, a number of other ecosystem elements are also needed to link energy supply with productive end-uses (e.g., access to financing and markets), a GIS-based decision-support tool has been developed by ICIMOD under the REEECH2 regional initiative that helps identify suitable areas for investments with Nepal as a pilot country and irrigation through micro-hydro as a first application.
The event hosted at the IRENA Pavilion will showcase the tools developed that can support decision-making on renewable energy project development and facilitate investment flows from both the public and private sector. Practical examples and insights from the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) context will be shared which have relevance for similar fragile ecosystems across other regions.
Insights from IRENA-ICIMOD report Decentralised Solar Electricity for Agri-food Value Chains in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Region and Needs Assessment – Kamran Siddiqui, Associate Programme Officer – Energy Access, IRENA
Decision-support tool to facilitate investments in renewables and agriculture applications – Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD
Country representatives Q&A
1 ICIMOD is an intergovernmental institution with eight member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – that comprise the mountain areas in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.
2 The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (REEECH) Initiative at ICIMOD functions as a regional hub and think-tank with a mountain focus under the umbrella of the Global Network ofRegional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) to accelerate universal energy access in the HKH region and to place mountain energy issues prominently on the global sustainable development and climate agenda.