International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Ghana aims to Scale-up Electrification in Rural Areas

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) are organizing the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) on 1st and 2nd November 2012 in Accra, Ghana. IOREC is an official contribution to the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, and aims to address issues related to sustainable rural electrification with the objective of increasing collaboration between public authorities and the private sector.

According to IOREC, approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity and at least one billion more have an unreliable and intermittent supply. In rural areas, connecting to the main electricity grid is often too costly – making off-grid systems based on renewable energy often the most efficient and practical solution to providing access to electricity. Off-grid technology exists and has the opportunity to be combined with locally adapted and suitable business models for widespread deployment.

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With a focus on Africa, the IOREC event will provide a crucial opportunity to identify and discuss the main barriers to the scaling up of rural electrification based on off-grid renewable energy systems. Furthermore, IOREC will represent an important occasion to highlight suitable policies and measures to overcome such barriers, and to share knowledge about innovative financing solutions, technologies and the latest innovations in off-grid renewable energy systems.

The Conference aims to bring together participants from public institutions, international organizations, financing institutions, academia and private companies that are active in rural electrification and renewable energy.

In parallel with the Conference, starting from 31st October, the Alliance for Rural Electrification is organizing the IOREC Exhibition, to give the private sector the opportunity to present products and projects and to offer all stakeholders ample networking opportunities. The exhibition is open to all interested organizations. Companies, in particular, are encouraged to participate and to present their products and projects.

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