Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2017 Conference

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The August Company Consultant Katarina Uherova Hasbani  speaks at the  Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2017 Conference

Manila 5-8 June, 2017

The August Company consultant Katarina Uherova Hasbani was invited to speak at this year’s ACEF - one of Asia’s premier networking and knowledge-sharing events dedicated to clean energy and energy access in Asia. The event constituted of a series of talks, deep dive workshops, technical seminars and networking events. Participants from over 60 countries were part of this event.

Overview            

Katarina Uherova Hasbani spoke at two sessions, both part of a larger arc to improve access to clean and sustainable energy in Asia. The first session was part of the Deep Dive Workshop and focussed on strategic partnerships to accelerate scaling amongst clean-technology start-ups. The second session was part of the Energy Access Nexus and focussed on the multiplier effects of energy access to meet community needs.

Deep Dive Workshop: Strategic Partnerships To Accelerate Scale

This session focussed on coordinating business accelerators in clean technology within the Asia Pacific Region, in terms of deploying business development resources and connecting mature companies to investors.

The session began by highlighting the challenges faced by clean-technology start-ups. The challenges included the extensive time requirements, scaling costs, low research and development funding in a competitive and low margin industry and low investment rate due to the risks.

Mutually beneficial partnerships with corporations was identified as a solution to these challenges. Corporations have the ability to allow clean-technology start-ups to plug into a ready-made system giving them access to a longer timeline, opportunity to test with an established network of suppliers and clients, funding and established internal systems. On the other hand, clean-technology start-ups bring an innovative image and culture to corporates with an increased speed of operation and execution.

Diving further into these partnerships, eight ways of building relationships between corporations and start-ups with established: mergers and acquisitions, events, support services, start-up programs, co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators, spin-offs and investments.

The session also explored other alternatives for clean-technology start-ups to thrive in today’s market such as joining an industry association and collaborating with a university’s research team.

Designing Productive Use of Renewable Energy Projects That Lead To Multiplier Effects In Rural Communities

This session focused on the socio-economic development in rural areas with the implementation of off-grid renewable energies to provide lighting, access to information, comfort and entertainment. This is achieved by implementing sustainable business models with RET solutions along with the integration of local population with income generation.

Katarina spoke in her role as the Board Member of the Alliance for Rural Electrification, industry association representing the decentralised clean energy sector with members along the whole value chain.

The session began with the introduction of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and its aim to promote productive use of renewable energy in Asia economically, socially and environmentally. It also introduced the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) approach for rural populations by highlighting the various income generating possibilities brought on by energy services.

The PURE initiative combines decentralised electricity distribution systems i.e. Pico systems, Home systems and Productive/Industrial systems with clean energy mini-grids (CEMG). CEMG has the potential to reach more customers and provide more bulk productive uses as well as scale up with increasing purchasing power and local demand.

The following three case studies of ARE were discussed:

1.    The Ankur Scientific use of biomass gasifier for productive use in Thakurwadi, Maharashtra, India.

2.   The Studer Innotec use of hybrid systems to help hospitals gain energy independence in Lukla, Nepal.

3.   The Mlinda use of micro-grid electricity to drive women micro-entrepreneurs.

These case studies showcased the different models that help generate social and economic development in various rural areas with the implementation of mini-grid systems.

The session concluded with a discussion on the up-scaling of PURE in Asia through the lessons learnt from the ARE Energy Access Investment Forum. This included cross-sectoral partnerships, supporting government-implemented policy frameworks for off-grid solutions, mobilising investment in education, research, development and capacity building, empowering women and youth as well as developing innovative financing  and knowledge-sharing tools.

To view Katarina's thoughts on the ACEF Conference 2017, check out her interview here.

If you are interested in a workshop on scaling clean and renewable energy technology or off-grid power systems, contact us here

Katarina Hasbani