To view more information about this event, including forum materials, background documents, and workshop presentations, please visit the event webpage here.
WRI’s Davida Wood answers questions on the current situation in Kyrgyzstan and its link to electricity governance.
The recent political upheaval and violent protests that rocked Kyrgyzstan – sparked in part by sharp hikes in tariffs for electricity and heat – serve as a reminder of the importance of the electric power sector in Central Asia.
In 2009, WRI’s Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) supported local partners in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to conduct the first comprehensive Electricity Governance Assessments in their countries. These assessments allow civil society to gather data on the transparency, accountability, and inclusivity of a country’s electricity sector.
Central Asia: Transparency and Accountability in the Electric Power Sectors of Kyrgyzstan and TajikistanBy Sarah Lupberger on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Open Society Institute and Electricity Governance Initiative would like to announce a new event that is open to the public. There will be a reception directly after the event.
Date: April 28, 2010
Time: 5 – 7pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2nd Floor 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036
This invitation-only roundtable will bring together experts on energy issues and Central Asia for a focused discussion. Earlier this year, EGI’s partners in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan released their first EGI assessment reports. Representatives from the Consumers Union and the Energy Association (Tajikistan) and Unison Civic Environmental Foundation and the Consumer Association Ustin (Kyrgyzstan) will be in Washington to present their findings and engage in a dialogue with experts from the Washington, DC area.
By Smita Nakhooda
South Africa’s plans for a new coal power plant bring up difficult decisions for the World Bank.
The prospect of a $3.75 billion World Bank loan to support the Medupi Supercritical coal plant in South Africa has raised questions about the future of development assistance in a warming world. The coal plant, part of the national South African utility Eskom’s program to expand generation capacity, is expected to provide 4,800 MW of electricity. Construction of the plant has already begun, and contracts for key components have been signed. Yet Eskom’s longer-term electricity expansion program may have problematic implications for environmentally and socially sustainable development in South Africa. There are trade-offs between increasing South Africa’s electricity generation capacity and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (as laid out in the country’s national Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios) that must be reconciled. Electricity planning processes to date, however, have been neither transparent nor inclusive (1). The assumptions that coal is the most viable long-term option for South Africa need to be revisited through open, fact based debate on all available energy options.
Idasa, coordinator of the Electricity Governance Initiative in South Africa, released a groundbreaking report – “The Governance of Power: Shedding Light on the Electricity Sector in South Africa” – at a briefing in Cape Town this morning.
The report contains hard-hitting analysis of the governance challenges facing key national institutions, including the Department of Energy, the Electricity Supply Commission (Eskom), the National Energy Regulator of SA (NERSA) and the Department of Public Enterprises. “Secrecy, lack of consultation, confusion of roles and responsibilities, particularly for planning, are some of the governance deficits” said Idasa’s Economic Governance Programme Director, Richard Calland, in a statement ahead of the release of the report.
The report presents an Electricity Charter that proposes concrete steps to improve governance, against the backdrop of Eskom’s request for a 35% electricity price increase and stated government commitment to develop a revised Integrated Resource Plan to meet South Africa’s energy needs.
The briefing featured presentations by Electricity Governance Initiative partners, including Dr. Andrew Marquard of the Energy Research Centre at the UCT, Saliem Fakir, Director of the Living Planet Unit of WWF-SA, Leonard Gentle of the International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG), and Liz McDaid of Green Connection. The speakers highlighted key improvements in transparency, participation and accountability necessary to help South Africa make equitable and sustainable energy choices.
The briefing was attended by a number of high level government representatives as well as members of the press.
EGI Kyrgyzstan recently released Electricity Governance in Kyrgyzstan: An Institutional Assessment. The assessment evaluates policy-making and regulatory processes within the context of sector reforms that have been in progress for over a decade. Using a subset of 32 indicators from the EGI toolkit, the report traces the relationship between closed processes and the continued poor performance of power sector enterprises.
EGI Tajikistan recently released Electricity Governance Tajikistan: Applying the EGI Indicator Toolkit to Tajikistan. The report details the preliminary findings and recommendations of the electricity governance assessment of transparency, accountability and public participation in Tajikistan’s electricity sector. The EGI Tajikistan working group used a subset of 32 indicators from the EGI toolkit to assess the governance strengths and weaknesses of legislative, executive and regulatory processes.
In this op ed piece, EGI South Africa partners argue that business-as-usual planning for the power sector is not yet aligned with the government’s negotiating position in Copenhagen. But is Eskom’s corporate structure appropriate for leading the effort to cut emissions? Or should government be more involved in putting public interests first?
An op-ed written by EGI South Africa’s Richard Calland and Gary Pienaar of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) was featured in Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper. Read the full Op-Ed Below.
PICKING holes in the governance of electricity supply, and energy policy more generally, is like shooting fish in a barrel. Whether it is the development and sequencing of key policy documents, the absence of proper stakeholder consultation, leadership failure, or the lack of clarity about intragovernmental roles and responsibilities, there are more hooks on which to hang a public debate than in a cloakroom — as a new analysis of electricity governance reveals.