Professor Daniel Kammen (ERG, RAEL and GSPP) has authored a new report, South Sudan’s Renewable Energy Potential: A Building Block for Peace, co-authored with Mr. David Mozersky and published by the United States Institute of Peace.
"The world’s newest country, South Sudan, is also the least electrified. A period of growth that began after a 2005 peace deal and continued after independence in 2011, saw billions of dollars in oil revenue and strong international support. This period was powered by diesel generators and little long-term electricity infrastructure was created. A new civil war that began in late 2013 has stymied all growth and led to economic collapse, triggering a massive multibillion-dollar international humanitarian response. Switching from diesel to renewable energy in these operations could unlock a host of benefits, both near-term and longer-term. This report argues for a donor-led transition to renewable energy to power humanitarian efforts across South Sudan and offers recommendations on how to achieve it.
"Renewable energy offers great potential as a climate-sensitive strategy for energy generation and a potential tool for peace building in conflict-risk, climate-vulnerable and energy-poor settings like South Sudan. International peacekeeping and humanitarian responses are overwhelmingly powered by dirty and expensive diesel fuel in some of the least electrified countries in the world. Similar dynamics to what we describe in South Sudan - ongoing conflict or conflict-risk; low levels of electrification, dependence on fossil fuel imports; and reliance on diesel by the sizeable international field operations deployed in country - also exist in many other settings. These international missions offer excellent entry points to introduce new renewable energy development into fragile settings.
"We founded Energy Peace Partners last summer to continue to promote and support renewable energy in conflict and crisis settings. We are working on two tracks: 1) This paper marks the start of a new research and policy initiative, including a new partnership with the Stimson Center. With a dual focus on conducting further country case studies and influencing policy and practice for international field operations, we will continue to examine the often under-recognized role that energy plays in given conflict dynamics, how renewable energy can help support peace building and stabilization, and how international actors can facilitate new renewable energy investment and development in fragile settings. 2) We also continue to develop the Peace Renewable Energy Credit (PREC) as an innovative new financing mechanism to help facilitate new renewable energy deployment in conflict and crisis settings."
The report is also available on the website of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (rael.berkeley.edu) website.