Renewable energy is making rapid inroads in developing countries, with investment reaching US$112 billion in 2012, representing 46 percent of total global investment in renewable energy. Yet even with this growth in activity, investors, developers, and other practitioners still operate in an information vacuum when it comes to easily finding practical examples of financing and implementation of renewable energy projects.

As part of its commitment to support the scale-up of renewable energy in developing countries, ESMAP has developed the Renewable Energy Project Resource Center, in partnership with Energypedia, an independent non-profit energy information resource.

The Project Resource Center complements other tools now available to governments and developers by focusing on working level project documents such as sample terms of reference (TORs), sample procurement documents, sample surveys and questionnaires, examples of economic and financial analysis, and case studies with lessons learned.

Such documents are rarely disseminated by the institutions that generate them, which constitutes a missed opportunity for building on previous knowledge and experience. Having such documents readily available, by contrast, can reduce transaction costs such as those associated with having to create new TOR or contract templates from scratch.

The Project Resource Center brings these documents together under a simple interface that will significantly improve the quality, ease, and access to information for the global renewable energy development community. The Project Resource Center is hosted on Energypedia’s open wiki-based platform, allowing anyone to easily locate documents through browse and search functions, and to add new ones, thus contributing to a shared body of knowledge. The platform also allows for facilitated interactions through dedicated spaces for discussion and private messages to other users.

Documents included in the Project Resource Center are tagged to specific technologies (e.g. hydroelectricity, wind, geothermal, storage, etc.), connection types (e.g. grid connected, off-grid, small island systems, etc.), language, and region/country. As the document library grows, additional categories can be added to better capture the global knowledge available.

The current document archive builds on the World Bank’s RE Toolkit, developed in 2006 to provide World Bank staff and partners access to a broad set of resources on renewable energy such as issue notes, case studies and TORs. Going forward, information will be updated and added, building on the growing experience of the World Bank Group as well as other development agencies as they support renewable energy projects in developing countries. Current partners include the Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Resource Center (PPPIRC), the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), and Open EI.org.

The Project Resource Center is owned by Energypedia, who will be responsible for its maintenance as well as for ensuring the relevance of any new documents uploaded. Energypedia will also work on furthering ESMAP’s initial efforts to involve new partners to help build a critical mass of knowledge in the library. ESMAP will remain engaged as a partner to the initiative by contributing new documents sourced from World Bank-supported projects as well as by providing active feedback to Energypedia’s team on the quality and usability of the site.

The Renewable Energy Project Resource Center can be accessed at: https://energypedia.info/wiki/Renewable_Energy_Project_Resource_Center