18 June 2014

Gambia: 3rd National Renewable Energy Forum Opens Today

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority of the Gambia (PURA), in collaboration with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will hold its 3rd National Renewable Energy (NRE) dialogue forum: Policy 'for Small Scale Renewable Energy Regulation' from June 18th-19th, 2014, at Kairaba Beach Hotel, in Kololi. According to the forum, a document from PURA, a copy of which is made available to the Daily Observer, stated that the forum is organised by PURA annually in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), through funding from USAID.

The forum is once again organised, in order to continue indentifying tangible steps in promoting the adoption of renewable energy in The Gambia. The topics to be discussed at the forum include: the recently enacted Renewable Energy (RE) Law, The Gambia's proposed Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT), Net-Metering, Renewable Energy (RE) in the tourism sector and standards for RE installations. The forum will draw fifty-sixty (50-60) stakeholders from across the country, as well as experts from regulatory commission in the US States of California and Hawaii. The regulators from Tanzania and Kenya are expected to attend the forum, where they will present various case studies and their experiences with Renewable Energy (RE) promotion from their respective countries.

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has also been invited to attend the forum and its objectives are as follows: assess progress made on RE regulatory framework since the first forum, promote national-level discussion on clear policy, including legal and regulatory frameworks with particular focus on implementing the recently enacted RE law, introduce The Gambia's first FiT to the public, provide regulatory expertise in developing support schemes for renewable energy that promote investment, explore synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency of energy conservation and share international and regional best practices and lessons learnt in clean energy regulation, especially the US experience. The two-day forum will also discuss the following sub-topics: update on the Renewable Energy market and regulatory framework since 2013, panel discussion on "New Streamlined Permitting Process and Standard PPA for projects 1.5MW", presentation on California's approach to designing a Net Energy Metering tariff for customer generation and their approach to designing a Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) for Small Wholesale Renewable Projects, case study on Kenya's Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC), presentation on Hawaii Clean Energy Policies and their Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) and Electricity Reliability Programme, case studies: Renewable Energy (RE) in the tourism sector, case study: energy conservation, displacing diesel and electric heating with solar water heating, panel discussion on key aspects of Net Metering Policy, presentation on Tanzania Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), roundtable discussion on indentifying and overcoming barriers to renewable energy, presentation on GEF (5) and Renewable Energy Financing Opportunities and finally roundtable discussion on the new Feed-in-Tariff (FiTs) and potential for Renewable Energy Investment (REI).

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