UNDP Partners with D-REC Initiative to scale up energy access through innovative investment models

D-RECs have the potential to become a new financial instrument to aggregate investments in distributed renewable energy projects by tapping into the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) global market

New York – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has established a partnership with South Pole to operationalize the D-REC concept, a new financial instrument to aggregate investments in Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) projects in developing countries. Part of the Climate Aggregation Platform, a UNDP-GEF funded project which promotes the scale-up of financial aggregation for small-scale, low-carbon energy assets in developing countries, the partnership will help crowd in climate finance and additional investments from the private sector to address the energy access financing gap and, in doing so, help achieve SDG 7 and SDG 13.

Together, the two partners will work to scale result-based climate finance for distributed renewable energy projects that speed up universal access to clean, affordable energy – an area that remains critically underfinanced. Specifically, the partnership will focus on operationalizing the D-REC concept, increasing awareness among key stakeholders, and developing a country-level pilot project, focusing on the electrification of health facilities, to reinforce the initiative’s ability to create measurable, positive impacts for communities underserved by the grid.

“Without accelerating the pace and speed of energy access through clean energy projects, we will not achieve the 2030 Agenda. This exciting partnership will create an innovative platform for financing clean and affordable energy solutions, allowing us to bring access to last-mile underserved communities,” said Adriana Dinu, Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme. “By supporting developing countries achieve SDG 7, which is an enabler for all SDGs, this partnership will ensure no one is left behind by bringing energy access to the people and places that need it the most.”

South Pole and Positive.Capital Partners are leading the Secretariat for the D-REC Initiative, a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder, industry-led initiative established to create a new, internationally recognized, third party-certified, verifiable, and tradeable market instrument called a D-REC or Distributed Renewable Energy Certificate. D-RECs have the potential to become a new financial instrument to aggregate investments in distributed renewable energy projects by tapping into the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) global market.

“More and more companies are ramping up their sustainability commitments by procuring clean energy. Some are increasingly looking to push their renewable energy engagement to emerging markets where they have a direct footprint, or an indirect one via their supply chain partners. At the same time, there is an acute need for clean, reliable energy for things like health clinics or SMEs in off-grid communities in many of these very same countries,” says Patrck Bürgi, Director of Innovation and Co-Founder at South Pole. “The D-REC Initiative uses a proven, market-based instrument to connect these two issues in a way that can scale positive impact. With UNDP on board, we are more confident than ever that we can channel corporate finance to the people and communities that need it the most.”

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