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USAID-NREL Partnership Newsletter – Fall 2020

Read our Fall 2020 issue for updates on our country activities, events, global technical platforms, and resources.

The USAID-NREL Partnership addresses critical challenges to scaling up advanced energy systems through global tools and technical assistance, including the Renewable Energy Data Explorer, Greening the Grid, the International Jobs and Economic Development Impacts tool, and the Resilient Energy Platform.

Featured News

USAID and NREL To Launch High-Fidelity Solar Dataset for Southeast Asia

This is a map showing the countries within southeast Asia highlighted in orange

High-quality, robust, and reliable energy resource data are at the core of decision-making for energy sector transformations. To support scaling up renewable energy in the Southeast (SE) Asia region, USAID and NREL are developing a first-of-its-kind, high spatial and temporal resolution solar dataset for all of SE Asia, which will be publicly available in early 2021. This high-fidelity data, which has 10-minute temporal resolution and 2-kilometer spatial resolution resource data, can be used to drive energy sector investment and inform prospecting, renewable energy auctions, target-setting, grid integration and other high-impact decisions, ranging from the micro to macro scale, to accelerate renewable energy deployment throughout SE Asia. This data will be available on the Renewable Energy Data Explorer platform, which will be expanded to include global coverage in addition to the high-fidelity solar dataset for SE Asia. Stay tuned for more updates and resources coming soon!

What's New

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New Quick Read Series: Opportunities for Private Sector Clean Energy Investments in Emerging Markets

The USAID-NREL Partnership surveyed a variety of stakeholders to identify solutions for scaling up private sector investment in clean energy technologies in emerging markets. USAID and NREL solicited input from the private secto—which included developers, project financiers, and manufacturers—to determine the challenges they face to market entry in developing and emerging markets and to solicit their suggestions for improving market competitiveness. The information presented in this Quick Read Series focuses on three technology areas—microgrids, smart grids, and energy efficiency—and provides an overview of the barriers that can inhibit investment in the technologies and possible solutions for overcoming those barriers.

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The Philippines Is Ready for Renewables: Competitive Renewable Energy Zones Process Report Published

A new report from USAID, NREL, and the Philippines Department of Energy summarizes the phases and outputs of a first-of-its-kind transmission planning approach in the Philippines, called the competitive renewable energy zones (CREZ) process. The CREZ process is unique in that it helps match generation potential with transmission development—which have vastly different timescales. The analysis results identified zones with sufficient capacity to exceed the country's Renewable Energy Roadmap goal of generating 20 GW of renewable power by 2040, offering substantial flexibility for private-sector development and cost-effective transmission build-out. With this newly published report, the Philippines Department of Energy can provide financiers, developers, and the public a digestible prospectus that explains how investment in the CREZ process advances the energy sector goals of the Philippines and enables cost-effective renewable energy development. Read the complete report, Ready for Renewables: Grid Planning and Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in the Philippines, with a message from the Philippines secretary of energy.

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Power System Flexibility Support for India's Energy Transition

The Indian power system is going through a period of transformation with plans for renewable energy to be integrated at a large scale over the next decade. Because of this, there is an increasing focus on flexible operation of existing generation resources. Two new reports, produced by NREL and supported by USAID and the Government of India's Ministry of Power, offer insights and analysis related to increasing India's power system flexibility. Ramping up the Ramping Capability: India's Power System Transition focuses on the complexities of ramping and the challenges associated with high shares of renewables in the Indian context. Resource Analysis of NP Kunta Solar Part Site: A White Paper presents the resource variability analysis of two solar park sites in India.

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USAID-NREL Partnership Welcomes New NREL Leadership

After leading NREL's work with USAID for over a decade, Andrea Watson has accepted a senior position at NREL and will be handing over management of the USAID-NREL Partnership portfolio to Alexandra Aznar starting in December 2020. This will be a seamless transition given that Aznar has worked on the USAID-NREL Partnership for over 5 years, leading Greening the Grid's Distributed PV program and providing clean energy technical support to policymakers, regulators, and utilities around the world. We are grateful for the exceptional leadership Andrea Watson provided and wish her the best in her new role. We look forward to carrying on USAID and NREL's work assisting countries with policy, planning, and deployment support for advanced energy technologies with Aznar's leadership.

Events

WATCH: Asia EDGE Power Sector Learning Series

USAID and NREL partnered with the World Resources Institute, ClimateWorks Foundation, C40 Cities Finance Facility, and USAID Clean Power Asia to host an interactive webinar and discussion on Sept. 1, 2020, focused on the new technologies and business models for distributed energy resources that are transforming the roles of energy producers, consumers, and the power sector as we know it. Watch the WebEx event recording: Exploring Emerging Trends and Technologies in Distributed Energy Resources.

WATCH: Enhanced Load Modeling and Forecasting Course for Southeast Asia Practitioners

What will power demand in SE Asia be in 30 to 40 years? Where will demand be greatest? What will the hourly demand profile look like with the deployment of advanced energy systems (such as electric vehicles) and shifting economic sectors? To help power system planners answer these and other challenging questions, USAID and NREL developed a course, held from July through September 2020 to provide planners with improved demand modeling and forecasting approaches and enhanced scenario-based planning to support robust power system planning in SE Asia. The entire recorded video course series can be found on YouTube at Enhanced Load Modeling and Demand Forecasting for Southeast Asia.

WATCH: Haiti Energy Access Partnership — Minigrid Regulation Workshop

The Haiti Energy Access Partnership provides unique technical support to increase access to reliable, affordable electricity in Haiti through strategic planning, sector reform, and integration of private sector management expertise. USAID and NREL, through the Haiti Energy Access Partnership, presented a workshop on Nov. 6, 2020, focused on regulatory considerations for minigrid development for stakeholders in Haiti. The workshop covers a case study on minigrid regulation in Uganda, an overview of institutional processes for adopting new regulations, and key considerations for minigrid regulation in the Haitian context. The workshop recording, as well as previous workshops on minigrid operations in Haiti, can be found on the USAID-NREL Partnership YouTube playlist: Haiti Energy Access Partnership – Minigrid Regulation Workshop.

WATCH: The Resilient Energy Platform and the Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) Present — Introduction to Modeling Tools to Support Resilience

USAID, NREL, and the Resilient Energy Platform, in conjunction with CCREEE and the German Corporation for International Cooperation, presented a webinar on Nov. 4, 2020, focused on modeling tools to support resilience planning. This webinar provides an overview of tools—such as PLEXOS, NREL's REopt, and others—that may aid in long-term integrated resource and resiliency planning processes for the power sector. Watch the recording at CCREEE Webinar: Introduction to Modeling Tools.

Must Reads

Please explore the diverse publications published by the USAID-NREL Partnership:

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