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Energising Development": new EC initiative to help achieve energy access for all by 2030

A new EU energy initiative which will provide access to sustainable energy for an additional 500 million people in developing countries by 2030 was today announced by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso.

Speaking at the “EU Sustainable Energy for All” Summit inBrussels, President Barroso unveiled this EU commitment in theframework of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All)launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year.

The Commission's proposals include a new EU Technical AssistanceFacility worth €50 million over the next two years, which, by providingEU expertise in the field, will support those developing partners that"opt in" to the initiative; thereby promoting sustainable developmentand low-carbon energy technologies.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said: "I welcome the commitment bythe European Commission in support of the Sustainable Energy for Allinitiative. Its strong leadership in making energy central to itsdevelopment policies, and for advancing the issue of energy access,helps place energy at the forefront of the global developmentagenda.”

2012 is the UN's International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.The EU is committed to achieving the inspiring objectives of the UNSecretary-General to, by 2030, ensure universal access to modern energyservices, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiencyand double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Energy Development Initiative

The Initiative was conceived as a public-private project that wouldsupport the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All package launched inJanuary. Its goals for 2030 include:

  •     Universal energy access for 500 millionpeople;
  •     A doubling of the share of renewables in theglobal energy mix;
  •     A doubling of the global energy intensityrate.

Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, who spoke shortlyafter the launch of the Initiative, said that developing countries that‘opt in’ to a series of EU reforms, with capacity-building and policydevelopment programmes, will also benefit from increased privateinvestment. Decarbonisation was fully compatible with all of these, inCommissioner Piebalgs’ view.

“A windmill or a solar project doesn’t require a big grid so ourfocus is mostly on this part of the road,” he said. “I think[decarbonisation] is do-able because there is a lot of renewablepotential in developing countries.”

Given the scale of the energy crisis in the developing world,President Barroso said that a 30% increase in EU investment was neededby 2030.
“In the short term we’re looking to provide another €750 million overthe next two years for renewable energy projects,” Barroso said. “Thissupport will leverage the same amount many times over.”

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