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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization



Renewable and Alternative Energies

Renewable and Alternative Energies
  • © UNESCO/O.Benchikh
  • Solar Health Centre

The global nature of energy challenges requires that local renewable energy resources be appropriately managed and used. As such, the Programme promotes the building of capacities, stimulates the sharing of scientific knowledge and best practices, promotes the development of energy policies, supports pilot initiatives and provides technical assistance, when necessary.

The Programme’s capacity building activities are implemented under the Global Renewable Energy Education and Training (GREET) Programme. Particular emphasis is made on building a sustainable energy base in Africa to address the energy needs in this region. Furthermore, in its contribution UNESCO’s Intersectoral Platform on Climate Change, the Programme promotes the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency technologies and practices as a major tool to help respond to the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Enhancing national capacities and knowledge base focuses on institutional and human capacity-building, advocacy and information. Training activities target different levels of concerned audiences (e.g. engineers, researchers, technicians, operators, entrepreneurs, project managers, decision/policy-makers, end-users, etc…) as well as the various renewable energy forms.

Sharing of scientific knowledge and best practices involves the direct exchange of scientific knowledge and information as well as networking to provide access to data, knowledge and best practices.

Promoting energy policies, with a view of translating them into national development plan, involves the development of national/regional action plans and strategies. It also includes the promotion of partnerships and exchanges of best practices through regional expert/decision-maker meetings, including at the ministerial level, and the development of information tools and materials addressing energy policy-making.

Support provided to pilot initiatives serves as a catalyst to projects which can then leverage additional funding. Special emphasis is made on applications that impact local development such as the solar electrification of public facilities in rural areas of developing countries.

Technical assistance ranges from support provided to enhance local capacities to advisory services and assistance provided to national institutions and/or regional entities in developing renewable energy initiatives.

The implementation of the Programme involves UNESCO’s Field Offices. It is also facilitated by:

a) “UNESCO Chairs Programme” involving twelve established Chairs on Renewable Energy.

b) “International Sustainable Energy Development Centre” - ISEDC - established in Moscow as a Category 2 Centre placed under the auspices of UNESCO.

More information on specific activities and programmes of the Renewable Energy Programme can be found on the following pages:

Global Renewable Energy Education and Training (GREET) Programme

Renewable Energy Activities in Africa

Climate Change Mitigation through Renewable Energies


For further information contact: Dr Osman Benchikh, Programme Specialist and Head of the Renewable Energy Programme – UNESCO


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