“The centres have the official mandate of more than 90 Ministers of Energy to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency within the respective region. They cover most of the non-OECD countries, including least developed and small island developing states. These are the new emerging countries where we expect most of the energy investments throughout the next decades”, explained Martin Lugmayr, Coordinator of GN-SEC. Daniel Mugnier, who chairs IEA SHC, added that the know-how gained from years of carrying out IEA SHC projects would soon need to be transferred to the new markets. A recently established strategic partnership between the solar heating and cooling organisation and the centres could help with this sort of outreach activity.
UNIDO and IEA SHC held initial talks during the ISEC conference in October 2018 in Graz, Austria, where both agreed to make all centres supporting members of IEA SHC. This will allow their experts to participate in additional tasks, which is what research platforms are called within IEA SHC. “We are working on concrete plans for sharing know-how and other information with the regional centres. A good option could be to offer training courses via the SHC Solar Academy,” said Mugnier.
Lugmayr and Mugnier emphasised the mutual benefits of the GN-SEC membership in the IEA SHC. “Many developing countries are just starting to establish or enforce policies and standards in the heating and cooling sector. The generated knowledge of OECD countries is very beneficial for these regions, if adapted to the local circumstances and requirements. On the other hand, the regional centres can help to close data gaps and contribute to the development of inclusive IEA SHC standards”, said Lugmayr.